When it comes to feathering their nests, Americans think Ikea is the best store to buy furniture, and Ace Hardware is tops for home improvement, according to the latest ranking from Market Force.
Ikea, with a composite loyalty index score of 75%, beats HomeGoods, owned by off-price retailer TJX, which scored a 63%. And Target and Bed Bath & Beyond tied for the third spot, with a 61%.
Ace dominated the home-improvement category, with a score of 68%, better than Menards, with 58%, and Lowes, with 54%.
Market Force, which specializes in measuring and managing customer experience, included 1,800 people in the home furnishings survey, and over 4,000 in home improvement. It rates each retailer on multiple factors, such as store layout, customer assistance and merchandise variety.
In addition to scoring highest overall, Ikea also came in first in value, store cleanliness and merchandise variety and availability. And not only did shoppers say its associates gave more recommendations than workers at other stores, 91% say they acted on those suggestions.
While shoppers gave Target the highest marks for store layout and for resolving problems, overall, it declined the most compared to last year’s survey. (Ikea is the biggest gainer.) And Bed Bath & Beyond is the most consistent, earning a top-three ranking in all of the categories. Walmart came in last for store cleanliness and variety, and surprisingly, tied with Target in last place for value.
Among home-improvement stores, despite its sales dominance, the Home Depot came in fourth out of five, with Walmart in last place. (It scored worst in every category, except for value, a distinction that went to the Home Depot.) Respondents, with 64% identifying themselves as DIY enthusiasts and 68% saying they’ve watched a DIY tutorial video, also rated Ace highest for checkout speed, store layout and cleanliness.
Fans especially love Ace’s loyalty program, at 70%. And while Lowe’s ranks second by that measure and has invested heavily in promoting MyLowes, its score was just 28%.