Raley’s tops in Consumer Reports ratings | RecordCourier.com
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Raley’s tops in Consumer Reports ratings

Joyce Hollister

Raley’s tops the list again, only this time, it’s rated by Consumer Reports readers, not just those in Carson Valley.

In this month’s issue of Consumer Reports, an unbiased national consumers’ magazine, Raley’s tied for the highest rating in a survey conducted among the magazine’s readers in “Ratings and Recommendations, Supermarket Chains.”

The California-based supermarket earned an 83 rating out of a possible 100. The only other supermarket chain to rate this high a score was the Publix Corp., which operates 542 stores in the south. The next highest rating was 77.

Raley’s, a closely-held family business, operates 87 stores in California and Nevada. The Gardnerville Raley’s supermarket has consistently won The Record-Courier’s “Best of Carson Valley” contests in several categories, ranging from best grocery store to best customer service, as voted on by R-C readers.

“We’re real excited, that’s a huge boost,” said assistant manager Gordon Kirby on Monday.

Kirby hadn’t known about the rating until a customer who takes the magazine told him on Saturday.

“It’s a great honor,” Kirby said. He added that he thinks the chain was rated so high because Raley’s offers good customer service, outstanding products and clean stores, good produce and good meat.

Raley’s president Michael J. Teel said that though Raley’s competed with a larger corporation, “We like to think we act like a little corporation.

“We really care not only for our customers but for our employees. When our employees are happy, that means our customers are happy.”

He said he sees the ratings in Consumer Reports as a milestone on a major expedition to become the most successful privately held supermarket chain in the world.

He added that Raley’s enjoys strong customer loyalty and is known for being consistent in its quality.

“That’s what makes us successful,” he said.

The ratings were based on the responses of more than 19,000 readers to the 1996 annual questionnaire, reflecting consumers’ eperiences in 1995 and early 1996. Since readers could rate more than one supermarket, the results are actually based on more than 22,000 responses. Each chain was evaluated by at least 200 readers and the magazine received more than 500 response for nearly half of them.

In analyzing the data, Consumer Reports wrote that the high ratings for Publix and Raley’s show that many readers are prepared to pay premium prices for high quality food sold in a store that’s clean and offers fast, courteous service, especially at the checkout.

The ratings accompanied an article called “Winning the Grocery Game,” which also gives consumers tips on how to shop and how to save when buying at supermarkets.