Costco Check out

Costco Check out by Michael Lehet (CC BY-ND)

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Shoppers were most concerned with their wallets and which stores offered the best value as record-high inflation took hold in 2022, a survey of top grocery retailers shows, and the nation's three major warehouse clubs benefited.

Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale shot up rankings of the latest Retailer Preference Index by Dunnhumby, a market consulting firm, which surveyed 10,000 consumers nationwide in November about aspects of grocery shopping like promotions, quality, and convenience. 

Costco climbed to No. 2 in 2022, after coming in ninth in 2021, Sam's Club took fifth, and BJ's Wholesale jumped to 10th place from 27th place, the largest move of any grocery retailer on the list. No warehouse store ranked higher than seventh in Dunnhumby's 2019 survey, suggesting that club stores are becoming more appealing as shoppers search for the best value.

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After taking the top spot in both the 2020 and 2021 rankings, Amazon fell to third place in 2022 behind H-E-B, a Texas supermarket chain, and Costco. During the pandemic, shoppers valued convenience, speed, and safety in getting their groceries and weren't as concerned about saving money. 

Ecommerce companies like Amazon were well-positioned to step up to the increased demand for online ordering and grocery delivery services. But as shoppers become less concerned about their health and safety, many once again prefer in-person shopping and checking weekly circulars and sales to save money.

The nation's Top 10 grocery stores, according to the Retailer Preference Index:

  1. H-E-B
  2. Costco
  3. Amazon
  4. Wegman's
  5. Sam's Club
  6. Market Basket
  7. Amazon Fresh
  8. Trader Joe's
  9. WinCo Foods
  10. BJ's Wholesale Club

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