Abercrombie & Fitch scored the lowest on the American Customer Satisfaction Index for the retail industry. The company scored a 65, almost 10 points below the entire sector’s overall score.
This is Abercrombie’s debut on the list.
Ranking so low could be bad news for the clothing retailer which has been working to rebrand itself after CEO Mike Jeffries left in December 2014.
“Normally when we see that kind of a gap, it’s a company so large it has monopoly power like, Walmart or McDonalds” said Forrest Morgeson, ACSI’s director of research. “Abercrombie and Fitch is not that, they aren’t that large … this can spell serious trouble for the company.”
The ACSI report is based on a survey of 9,358 customers asked about recent shopping experiences at the country’s biggest retailers. The index broke the industry into six different sectors, including department and discount stores, specialty retail stores and supermarkets. Abercrombie’s score was the lowest across all categories.
Walmart ranked just ahead of Abercrombie with a score of 66, and has ranked the lowest among department and discount stores since 2006.
“Walmart is doing fine business-wise, but at the same time, people really don’t like them,” said Morgeson.
Overall, customer satisfaction in retail is down for the second straight year.
When it comes to retailers scoring high marks, customers love Nordstrom, Costco, Amazon and Wegmans.
“Your highest-end supplier in a particular industry tends to be the most satisfying,” noted Morgeson. “It really is quality customers are looking for over price.”
Shoppers prefer to do their shopping online over brick and mortar stores, the survey showed, with Amazon ranking the highest among internet retailers with a score of 83.
Netflix’s score dropped 6% last year to 76. The company hiked prices for its standard plan by $1 in October.
“It’s a sensitive tightrope that Netflix has to walk,” Morgeson said. “It may not seem like a lot, but it’s [11%] more for the same service you got last month.”
The supermarket category in the index recorded its lowest score in more than a decade as consumers complained of unhelpful employees and quality of pharmacy services. That said, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans took home the highest score in the entire retail sector with 86.