This Home Improvement Store Is America’s Favorite — Yet Again

Worker at hardware store
Jesus Cervantes /

Home Depot is not the most popular home-improvement store in America. Neither is Lowe’s.

The honor goes to Ace Hardware — as it has year after year.

For the 14th time in 15 years, Ace ranked No. 1 for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study.

The 2021 study was based on a survey of more than 2,100 customers who had purchased home-improvement-related products from a home-improvement retailer in the prior 12 months.

The overall customer satisfaction scores are based on five factors:

  • In-store experience
  • Merchandise
  • Online experience
  • Price
  • Staff and service

It is probably no surprise that Americans continue to engage in home-improvement projects. Almost one-third (30%) of U.S. consumers say they are either planning or are now working on a home-improvement project.

Giving customers a great shopping experience is crucial to getting a top ranking. In a press release, Christina Cooley, director of the home intelligence practice at J.D. Power, says:

“What’s interesting is that unlike many other retail categories, when it comes to home improvement, customers are heading out to the stores to touch and feel products before buying — and wanting to engage with store staff along the way.”

In fact, just 13% of home-improvement shoppers say they purchased products via a retailer’s website. By contrast, 87% shopped in a brick-and-mortar location.

Of those who shopped in a store, 98% say they felt safe and comfortable while shopping during the height of the pandemic.

The retailers included in J.D. Power’s 2021 study, and their scores, are:

  1. Ace Hardware: Overall customer satisfaction score of 863 out of 1,000 points
  2. Menards: 836
  3. Lowe’s: 824
  4. Home Depot: 819

The average overall customer satisfaction score this year was 827, meaning Lowe’s and Home Depot actually scored below average.

Ace Hardware also has a leg up when it comes to savings. Its loyalty program landed the chain a spot in our story “10 Retailers That Give You Rewards on Every Purchase.” As we report:

“Sign up for Ace Rewards, and you’ll get 10 points for every dollar you spend. Accumulate 2,500 points, and you’ll earn a $5 reward. You also receive member-only offers.”

But if you prefer to shop at one of the titans of the home improvement store industry, we’ve got you covered with “6 Tips for Savvy Shopping at Home Depot and Lowe’s.”

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