Survey: Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods have best COVID-19 safety measures among grocery stores

NEW YORK — Trader Joe’s, Costco Wholesale and Whole Foods Market have been ranked as the top three grocery retailers with top-tier coronavirus health and safety protocols, according to Ipsos Group S.A., one of the largest market research and consulting firms in the world.

Ipsos released its Consumer Health & Safety Index survey on Wednesday and found that the three companies excelled at proper face-covering usage, social distancing and other critical procedures that help customers minimize their chance of contracting COVID-19.

Trader Joe's (Getty Images)

Trader Joe’s takes third place on Ipsos’ list for the “consistency and attention” the company applies to its health and safety procedures, which included active monitoring of in-store traffic and guest occupancy. According to consumer research conducted by Ipsos, 94 percent of Trader Joe’s stores managed entry and the flow of customers successfully.

Costco notched a second-place on Ipsos’ index for employee compliance with the retailer’s face covering and social distance policies. Ninety-five percent of Costco employees wore face coverings properly inside the store while 83 percent wore face coverings properly outside the store, according to store visits conducted by Ispos. Moreover, 94 percent of the Costco stores that were visited had social distancing markers installed indoors and outside.

Whole Foods outperformed all other retailers, according to Ipsos, and secured its spot at first place on the firm’s health and safety index. Ninety-eight percent of store employees wore face coverings indoors while 91 percent adhered to a 6-foot social distance when interacting with customers. Additionally, 95 percent of checkout counters had plexiglass barriers installed in addition to 87 percent of stores providing contactless payment methods, Ipsos noted.

FOX Business reached out to Trader Joe’s, Costco and Whole Foods for comment but did not immediately hear back at the time of publication.

“The ability to deliver on health and safety efforts is now the most important aspect of the customer experience, and it will be for some time,” Nick Mercurio, the executive vice president and service line head of U.S. Channel Performance at Ipsos, said in a statement about the index. “We found that 62 percent of shoppers would stop shopping at a retailer not taking health and safety seriously.”

Ipsos polled 2,000 Americans to find out which health and safety measures were most important to customers and conducted thousands of mystery shops across 45 major U.S. brands to come up with its findings.

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