More Than 50% Said This Grocery Store Has The Worst Customer Service

Few things are as important to a grocery store's reputation as its customer service. Being able to find what you need is great, but being able to find someone to process your return in a timely manner or help you reach that cereal box on the top shelf can impact your overall view of a business. In fact, according to Forbes, roughly 7 in 10 people report they're likely to spend more at a business that offers them a pleasant experience over a business that has nothing to offer them but plenty of product.

Of course, every grocery store is bound to experience service hiccups every now and then, no matter how popular they are. But is it possible there's one store that ranks consistently bad with shoppers? It turns out there is. Mashed asked 652 people to vote on which national grocery store they believe has the worst customer service, and the results were almost in complete unison.

Whole Foods tied with Target for the lowest ranking spot in the poll, with each racking in a mere 5.83% of the vote. That's great news for both of these brands, since it suggests that though bad experiences may happen at these stores, they aren't the norm. Meanwhile, Kroger, Costco, Meijer, and Aldi each earned the disdain of roughly 10 to 12% of voters. But as for which grocery store is guaranteed to give shoppers a headache? Per the survey results, an overwhelming majority of shoppers — 52.3% — say it's Walmart.

Walmart rarely has enough employees to accommodate customer needs

So why exactly is Walmart's service so terrible? According to MarketWatch, it's mostly because of their exhaustingly long lines at checkout, citing a report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which detailed that as customers' No. 1 complaint. This likely occurs because of the company's high-volume business model. Per Business Zeal, Walmart prioritizes low prices by keeping production costs low, which means they don't spend as much money on employees as they could be. This results in each location hiring less workers (there is usually only one for every 524 feet of store space), which means fewer employees available to cater to customer needs, like checking stock for certain items or operating checkout.

Three years after the MarketWatch article, Grocery Dive pointed out long wait times were still an issue at the big-box store, so it seems little has changed at your local Walmart. To make matters more complicated, the company isn't totally oblivious to this fact either. Back in 2019, even Walmart CEO Greg Foran partially blamed poor sales in their Neighborhood locations on bad customer service.

However, despite this bad rep, Walmart stores continue to thrive globally. According to data from Statista Research Department, approximately 240 million people roll back into Walmart locations every week. In other words, people are willing to overlook the bad experience, so long as the price is right. As one Quora user put it, "Walmart doesn't actually want you disappointed, but they are only willing to offer you just enough care that is required to keep you coming back."