According to a new retail study by Market Force Information, T.J. Maxx scored 47 percent of the customer vote on the Composite Loyalty Index to tie for the No. 1 spot with Target.
Although T.J. Maxx did not dominate in any one category, it performed consistently well across all categories. But despite its top ranking, T.J. Maxx did drop 8 percent lower than last year. Target, however, saw the largest gains, at 6 percent, of all the stores that took part in the report.
Rounding out the top three are Nordstrom Rack at No. 2 with 46 percent, and Burlington in third place with 45 percent.
Of the remaining three stores that were involved in the survey, Marshalls made it to No. 4 with 44 percent, but shoppers were disappointed with its customer service and inability to understand shoppers. Ross Stores was positioned at No. 5 with 42 percent, and shoppers though it offered the best value for the money. Walmart, however, scored the lowest in value for the pocketbook, and placed No. 6 with 29 percent.
Other key findings showed Burlington ranked highest for selection, sizes and ability to create a look, while frontrunner Target led in atmosphere, ease of finding items and checkout speeds. Nordstrom Rack associates offered the most satisfying customer service, while Burlington, Target and Ross got high marks for understanding customers’ needs and suggesting relevant items.
Market Force found that consumers ranked value as the biggest determining factor when choosing where to shop, but that service was also important. But despite its level of importance, only 43 percent of shoppers reported getting customer service assistance during their shopping trips.
“Nearly half of those surveyed have shopped at a physical retail store at least three times in the past 90 days, typically to enjoy a great in-store experience and to hunt for a good sale,” said Brad Christian, chief customer officer for Market Force. “However, it’s not always about price, even in the value apparel realm. Customers also want attentive and helpful service, and that’s one area where these discount retailers can and should bridge the gap with their premium counterparts.”
The study also showed that while consumers are still going to the brick-and-mortar store, online shopping remains strong. Target received the most website visits and purchases (51 percent of study participants in the previous 90 days, with 72 percent of those making purchases) and delivered the best online experience to garner 29 percent year-over-year online sales growth in Q4 2017. Walmart’s and Nordstrom Rack’s websites also scored high, with 40 percent of shoppers reporting a visit to these sites, and almost two-thirds of those visits resulting in online purchases.
Market Force conducted the survey using 10,821 consumers across the U.S. and Canada, who were asked to rate their most recent value fashion retailer experience, citing their likelihood to refer the retailer to fellow shoppers. Only retailers with 100 or more locations were included in the report.
The company did a similar study on premium retailers last month, during which Nordstrom Rack’s upscale sister store, Nordstrom, grabbed the No. 1 spot again for the sixth year in a row.