SHELTER Magazine

Only Online - Shelter July 2007

Ace Ranks First in Customer Satisfaction

J.D. Power and Associates
2007 Major Home Improvement
Retail Store Satisfaction Study
Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
* As published by J.D. Power and Associates according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Major Home Improvement Retail Store Satisfaction Study.

Home-improvement customers report spending an average of $2,138 per year on retail products. Where do they enjoy spending those dollars most? Ace Hardware.

This is all according to a recent survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based global marketing information services firm measured customer satisfaction based on six factors and Ace ranked the highest among home improvement retailers. In order of importance, factors included sales staff, merchandise and services, store facility, price competitiveness, sales/promotions and checkout.

According to the survey, being able to rely on the help and knowledge of a store's sales staff is critical. Results were based on responses from 16,239 consumers who purchased a home improvement product or service within the previous 12 months.

"Home improvement retail stores typically have a wide array of product offerings, which could be overwhelming to shoppers, especially those seeking support for do-it-yourself projects," says Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Many of these retailers tout the quality of their customer service in slogans and advertising, but the study tells us that those companies that truly 'walk the talk' differentiate themselves and demonstrate notably higher customer satisfaction."

Ace ranked the highest among major home-improvement retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 812 on a 1,000-point scale. Menards fell close behind with 801 points, followed by Lowe's-clocking in at 798. Ace's winning edge came from the company's sales staff, store facility and checkout services. Menards ranked well in price competitiveness and sales/promotions, while Lowe's trophy proved to be its merchandise. True Value also ranked above average at 776 points.