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Even online stores are struggling to satisfy picky customers

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When it comes to clicks versus bricks, a new report shows customer satisfaction with online shopping is actually down from last year — while supermarket customers report an increase in satisfaction. But the war isn’t won yet.

The internet remains the most satisfying place to shop, though online retailers showed “signs of strain” and dropped 1.2 percent to score an 82, according to the new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Retail Report.

This suggests that “despite its place atop all retail industries, there are still improvements to be made,” the report noted.

While supermarkets and drugstores have figured out how to keep their customers satisfied — at least for now — department stores, discount stores and specialty retailers are slipping. The retail sector as a whole scored 78.1 out of 100 points, down slightly from an all-time high of 78.3 a year ago.

“As the volume of internet sales grows, we’re seeing some challenges to keep up with the demand,” said ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg. “Online retail still has much better satisfaction than brick-and-mortar, so there’s nothing for internet retailers to be overly concerned about, but it’s certainly something they will need to be watchful about as we move forward.”

The ACSI Retail Report 2017 is based on interviews with more than 50,000 customers chosen at random and contacted by email between January 5 and December 13, 2017.

Department and discount stores continue to struggle

Customer satisfaction with department and discount stores dropped 1.3 percent since last year for an ACSI score of 77. Faced with strong online competition and dwindling foot traffic at shopping malls around the country, nearly every large retailer in this category saw weaker customer satisfaction.

“We’re seeing a drop in convenience of store locations and hours, which is not surprising because many of these big retailers have been closing stores,” VanAmburg told NBC News. “We’re also seeing a decline in the speed of checkout, store cleanliness, and less frequent sales and promotions — which definitely upset consumers.”

Costco tops the list with a score of 83 (unchanged), followed by Nordstrom at 81 (up 1 percent). Three superstores tie at 80 for third place: BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sam’s Club, and Fred Meyer (Kroger). Dillard’s, which took first place last year, dropped 5 percent to 79. That puts it on par with JCPenney, Kohl’s and Meijer.

Related: Walmart announces raises and bonuses — and store closures

Macy’s and Target both dropped three percent to score a 77, but Target still trounced Walmart — which once again was at the bottom of the list at 71, down 1 percent from last year. Walmart is working to build its online business, “but according to customers, it still lags competitors in many aspects,” the ACSI report noted.

Sears, which closed about 400 stores in 2017, saw satisfaction fall 5 percent to 73. To boost revenue, Sears is now selling its popular Kenmore home appliances on Amazon.

Dollar Tree (77, down 4 percent) beat Dollar General (73) which landed in second-to-last position after falling 6 percent from last year.

Specialty retail stores also suffer

This category also dropped 1.3 percent from last year, with an ACSI score of 79. However, staff at specialty stores outperformed every other retail category. Customers said they provide excellent service — helpful and courteous — and have a deeper knowledge of the products. The biggest complaints about these stores: items that are out-of-stock and the scarcity of sales and discounts.

L Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, PINK) led the pack with a score of 85, a jump of 5 percent. It was also the most improved specialty retailer. The report noted that L Brands has been reinvigorating its brick-and-mortar stores, devoting 70 percent of its investments to renovations and expansions.

Cabela’s made its debut in this year’s ACSI report. The outdoor recreation store came in second with a score of 82. O’Reilly Auto Parts, another new ACSI entrant, tied Barnes & Noble (81) for third place. O’Reilly beat Advanced Auto Parts (79) and AutoZone (78).

Bed Bath & Beyond, Menards and TJX tied at 80.





Abercrombie and Fitch jumped 4 percent to 79. This is due in part “to a strategic brand overhaul that appears to be more inclusive, with updated designs for a broader range of body types,” the report said.

In other categories: PetSmart (79) moved ahead of Petco (77), Footlocker and Dick’s Sporting Goods tied at 78, and Lowe’s (78) pulled ahead of Home Depot (76), which dropped by 5 percent. Both Staples (78) and Office Depot (77) saw customer satisfaction drop 3 percent. Toys R Us gained 1 percent to score a 78.

Supermarkets up their game

Nearly every food retailer did better this year, as customer satisfaction with supermarkets rose 1.3 percent to 79. Supermarkets have expanded the variety and selection of their merchandise — including higher quality products and prepared food — and most now offer more organic products. Better customer service and frequent sales and promotions also drove up the scores.

“Supermarkets clearly understand that they have to step up their game,” VanAmburg said. “They need to make sure they have all the brands anybody could reasonably want — and actually have inventory on the shelves — and then offer the sales and promotions to get people into the store.”

Publix with an ACSI score of 86 (up 2 percent) took the lead this year from Trader Joe’s (85, down 1 percent). This makes Publix, the employee-owned grocery chain, the top-scoring company in the entire retail category.

Even though Trader Joe’s could not sustain its record high from last year, the ACSI report said customer satisfaction with the store is still “extremely high for a brick-and-mortar retailer.” In fact, Trader Joe’s matches Amazon’s score in the internet retail category.

Aldi and Wegmans (84) tied for third place, just ahead of Costco and Texas-based H-E-B (both 83) and Sam’s Club (82). Midwestern chain Hy-Vee and Kroger both gained 3 percent to score an 81 and tie Whole Foods (unchanged). It’s too soon to gauge the impact of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. BJ’s Wholesale Club had an 80.

Walmart takes the bottom position in this category again this year, dropping 1 percent to 73.

Internet retailers

A bit of a surprise here, as customer satisfaction with internet retailers dipped 1.2 percent to 82. Even so, online is by far the most satisfying way to shop. The ACSI report says the decline is the result of weaker scores with the biggest and smallest online retailers, many of them run by brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon, which controlled 38 percent of the online holiday shopping season, according to Slice Intelligence, saw its ACSI score drop by 1 percent to 85. Newegg (83) and eBay (81) were unchanged from last year. Overstock jumped 3 percent to tie eBay at 81.

Customers said the variety and availability of merchandise at online stores is down, checkout and payment isn’t as easy as it was a year ago, customer support was seen as declining, and buyers aren’t as happy with shipping options. Product images and customer reviews were seen as less useful.

The survey showed that the least appreciated aspect of shopping online is the site-generated product recommendations. There’s “ample room for improvement,” the report said.

Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit The ConsumerMan website.



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Christian Eriksen may not play football professionally again, says sports cardiologist | World News

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Danish footballer Christian Eriksen is unlikely to play professionally again after suffering what was reported to be a cardiac arrest, a leading sports cardiologist has said.

The midfielder collapsed on the pitch during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland and had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital.

Eriksen, 29, was in a stable condition on Saturday night but it has not yet been publicly confirmed what was behind his illness.

Professor Sanjay Sharma is professor of sports cardiology at St George’s University in London and worked with Eriksen during his time at Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: “Clearly something went terribly wrong.

“But they managed to get him back, the question is what happened? And why did it happen?

“This guy had normal tests all the way up to 2019 so how do you explain this cardiac arrest?”

UK football bodies were likely to be “very strict” about allowing Eriksen to play again, he added.

“His cardiac arrest has rocked the entire nation today and that’s what happens. It’s not just them that it affects, it’s the psyche of so many people.

“The good news is he will live, the bad news is he was coming to the end of his career, so would he play another professional football game? That I can’t say.

“In the UK he wouldn’t play. We’d be very strict about it.”

Prof Sharma chairs the FA’s expert cardiac consensus group and is a consultant for charity Cardiac Risk In The Young.

He said the causes of Eriksen’s cardiac arrest could include an unidentified health condition or a high temperature, but reports that the footballer was awake in hospital were “a very good sign”.

“The fact he’s stable and awake, his outlook is going to be very good,” he told the PA news agency.

“I don’t know whether he’ll ever play football again.

“Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again?

“The answer is no.”

Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba experienced a similar collapse after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match against Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012.

He had hoped to resume his career but retired from professional football five months later on medical advice.

One of his doctors, Sam Mohiddin, told the BBC: “The cardiac arrest is a moment of extreme peril.

“If you don’t get someone out of cardiac arrest things are over. You will not survive.

“The ongoing risk to an individual to an extent depends on the precise cause of that cardiac arrest.”

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G7 summit: Sir David Attenborough to tell G7 leaders they face biggest climate change decisions ‘in human history’ | Politics News

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Sir David Attenborough will warn G7 leaders the decisions they make this decade are “the most important in human history” as he urges them to take action on climate change.

The 95-year-old environmentalist will address the heads of the world’s leading democracies at their summit in Carbis Bay on Sunday.

During their final day of discussions, Sir David will call on them to take steps to secure the future of the planet which he says may be on the “verge of destabilising’.

David Attenborough attends a conference about the COP26 UN Climate Summit, in London
Image:
Sir David will address G7 leaders on the final day of their summit

It comes after various climate groups staged protests across Cornwall to lobby G7 leaders on environmental issues this weekend.

In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red arrows fly over Cornwall for G7 summit

And the G7 is also expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance to $100bn (£70bn) a year to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and support sustainable growth.

More on David Attenborough

Ahead of his address to world leaders, Sir David said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly is plain to see.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
On Sunday, G7 leaders will again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

“But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

The G7 is also set to endorse an agreement on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, including a target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the summit to launch a £500m fund to support countries, including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states, to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.

“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people,” he said.

Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives
Image:
Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system.

“The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

For their final day of discussions on Sunday, G7 leaders will once again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What is the G7?

On Saturday night, the leaders enjoyed a beach BBQ in Carbis Bay and witnessed a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Critics questioned the display by nine aerobatic jet aircraft amid the summit’s focus on climate change.

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G7 summit: Sir David Attenborough to tell world leaders their decisions are ‘most important in human history’ | Politics News

Published

on

Sir David Attenborough will warn G7 leaders the decisions they make this decade are “the most important in human history” as he urges them to take action on climate change.

The 95-year-old environmentalist will address the heads of the world’s leading democracies at their summit in Carbis Bay on Sunday.

During their final day of discussions, Sir David will call on them to take steps to secure the future of the planet.

It comes after various climate groups staged protests across Cornwall to lobby G7 leaders on environmental issues this weekend.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red arrows fly over Cornwall for G7 summit

In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.

And the G7 is also expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance to $100bn (£70bn) a year to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and support sustainable growth.

More on David Attenborough

Ahead of his address to world leaders, Sir David said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly is plain to see.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
On Sunday, G7 leaders will again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

“But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

The G7 is also set to endorse an agreement on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, including a target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the summit to launch a £500m fund to support countries, including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states, to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.

“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people,” he said.

Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives
Image:
Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system.

“The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

For their final day of discussions on Sunday, G7 leaders will once again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What is the G7?

On Saturday night, the leaders enjoyed a beach BBQ in Carbis Bay and witnessed a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Critics questioned the display by nine aerobatic jet aircraft amid the summit’s focus on climate change.

Source link

Continue Reading

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