/ SAcsi

SA clothing retailers maintain satisfaction levels

Customers of South African clothing retailers have maintained their satisfaction levels with their brands this year, although there have been statistically significant drops in the scores of some of the brands. The South African Customer Satisfaction Index today released its findings, which measured customer satisfaction with Woolworths, Pep Stores, Ackermans, Truworths, Mr Price, Jet and Edgars.

The SAcsi overall industry leaders are Woolworths, Ackermans and Pep Stores with scores of 81.2, 80.9 and 80.2 out of 100 respectively. Truworths (78.1), Mr Price (76.8) and Jet (76.5) were statistically on par with the average industry score, while Edgars scored below par at 75.7 out of 100.

Mr Price and Jet saw a significant drop in their overall scores compared to 2014. “This may point to a perception among consumers that they are not getting value for their money from these retailers. The SAcsi surveyed 2189 customers and one of the standout findings is that Pep Stores customers feel they are getting the best value for money when they evaluate the quality they are getting for the price they pay. Customers indicated that their quality expectations are being exceeded by 9%,” explains Prof. Adré Schreuder, founder of SAcsi and CEO of Consulta.

“Pep Stores and Ackermans have emerged as brands to watch this year. They are in the lead when it comes to overall satisfaction and exceeding customer expectations. Woolworths comes closest to being the ideal clothing retailer in the minds of its customers.”

He adds that although Woolworths and Pep Stores retained their leadership positions, Ackermans is hot on their heels, especially when one looks at the elements which contribute to the overall satisfaction score. For example, Pep Stores and Ackermans have the highest loyalty scores among the clothing retailers.

The level of complaints recorded in clothing retail industry index is about 8% of customers. The most complaints came from Edgars customers (12.2%) and Woolworths (10.5%). Of the complaints, just over half (55.1%) were satisfactorily resolved. The highest scorer in terms of complaints resolution by a significant margin was Pep Stores at 70.9%.

“When one looks at the verbatim comments we got from customers, it is interesting that across the brands, very few of the complaints are product-specific. Complaints tend to be centred on customer service issues, which presents an opportunity for retailers to improve customer satisfaction by raising their service game,” says Prof. Schreuder.

Net Promoter Score is a measure of the likelihood of customers to recommend a particular brand. Pep Stores has scored 57%, well above the average of 40.4% for the industry.

SAcsi holds a licence with the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and forms part of a growing number of ACSI-licenced partner countries worldwide, which allows SAcsi to compare customer satisfaction with this global community. SA customer satisfaction with clothing retailers is the same as the UK’s scores at 78 out of 100, though the category measures department stores. Both the UK and SA are just one point below the USA, which has a score of 79 out of 100.

About the research methodology

SAcsi is an independent index. As such, no specific sponsor or client commissioned this survey. SAcsi releases monthly satisfaction indices to provide a national economic indicator of customer satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to household consumers in South Africa. Subscribing members have access to the full results. Companies are selected for inclusion based on market share and the random sample includes a minimum of 269 respondents per company.