The 10 Most Reputable Retailers — and Amazon Is Not One of Them

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Barnes & Noble — a retailer in a supposedly dying industry — is the most reputable store in America, according to an analysis of thousands of customer ratings.

The bookseller earned the only “excellent” rating in Reputation Institute’s U.S. Retail RepTrak 2019 rankings. In fact, it is the only U.S. retailer to earn that rating for three consecutive years.

Reputation Institute is a data analytics company. Its latest annual RepTrak study weighs more than 8,900 individual ratings of 81 retailers across seven categories:

  • Products/services
  • Innovation
  • Workplace
  • Governance
  • Citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Performance

Meanwhile, Amazon — the world’s biggest retailer — fell all the way from second place in 2018 to disappearing from this year’s top 10.

“The public’s level of trust and admiration for is in decline,” according to Reputation Institute. It didn’t speculate on why that is the case.

The most reputable retailers in America according to the study are:

  1. Barnes & Noble
  2. Costco Wholesale Corp.
  3. Bass Pro Shops
  4. Menards
  5. Carter’s
  6. Ace Hardware
  7. Lowe’s
  8. AutoZone
  9. Kroger
  10. Albertsons

Reputation Institute notes that, overall, trust is growing in the U.S. retail industry after a couple of years of decline. However, the company says there has been a sea change in what matters to customers:

“And while Products and Services still matter, their importance is declining and being overtaken by the importance of a Workplace that treats employees fairly and is concerned about employee health and well-being.”

How to save when you shop

If you aren’t feeling the “warm and fuzzies” wherever you shop, perhaps it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

Saving money is a guaranteed way to improve your shopping experience. The best way to save cash is to avoid foolish mistakes — such as falling for phony customer reviews.

As we note in “7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Cost You Money“:

“Reviews can be manipulated. It’s always in someone’s best interests that you fork over your hard-earned cash for a purchase. But websites such as Fakespot and ReviewMeta can help you ferret out fake or suspicious critiques.”

These specialize in analyzing reviews for specific product listings, looking for patterns indicative of manipulation. ReviewMeta analyses reviews on Amazon while Fakespot can analyze reviews on Amazon, and a few other online retailers.

What’s your favorite retailer? Share your pick in comments below or on our Facebook page

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