HARDWARE STORES

Menards tops J.D. Power leader board

A home improvement retailer satisfaction study puts the big box on top.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Menards ranks highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers for the first time, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study released Wednesday. The announcement ends a long grip on the top spot for Ace Hardware, which finished second in the survey.

The study was based on responses from 2,972 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in March 2018, and measured customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers by examining five factors (in alphabetical order): merchandise; price; sales and promotions; staff and service; and store facility.

Eau Claire, Wis.-based Menards, the operator of big box locations in the Midwest that run the gamut from lumber, windows, doors, swing sets, paint and even frozen pizza, collected 836 points on the 1,000-point scale.

Ace Hardware scored 832 and performed highest in staff and service. Lowe’s scored 828 and performed highest in merchandise and store facility.

In addition to its rankings – click here for more – the researchers at J.D. Power identified trends in the home improvement retailing business.  Chief among them: consumer spending on home improvement is on the rise, with an expected increase of 5.3% in 2018, to approximately $387 billion.

Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:

  • The “two-minute warning”: From the time a customer enters a store, that person expects to receive assistance from a store employee within two minutes, otherwise, satisfaction begins to decline. Overall satisfaction declines significantly when a customer waits more than two minutes to have his/her question answered, compared with waiting less than two minutes (821 vs. 882, respectively).
  • Satisfaction drives loyalty: Among delighted customers (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 80% say they “definitely will” repurchase from the retailer, compared with the study average of 48%. Additionally, 83% of delighted home improvement retailer customers say they “definitely will” recommend the retailer to others, compared with the study average of 49%.
  • Delightful experience influences recommendations: Among delighted customers, the average number of positive recommendations is 4.0, compared with the study average of 2.6.

Ace Hardware had been on an 11-year run as the top scoring retailer in the study. In last year’s survey, Ace was first, Menards second, and Lowe’s third.

 

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