The Latest Reader Survey From Consumer Reports Praises Costco

In a report out this week, Consumer Reports magazine announced that Costco Optical topped its list of eyewear retailers in a ranking of optical chains, independent practitioners and online eyewear sources by the publication’s readers, based on their experiences.   Compiled from data gathered from the responses of 31,059 readers who wear eyeglasses, the magazine found that Costco Optical earned the highest score for overall satisfaction among chains, also beating out most of its competitors for price and ultimately topping the ratings of optical retailers, which included large chains, independent local optical shops and private eyecare practitioners’ offices.

According to the magazine, a pair of glasses from Costco Optical cost a median of $157 compared with a median of $211 at independent optical shops and $212 at eye doctors’ offices. Consumer Reports also said that Costco was the only retailer to stand out for lack of problems (i.e. loose lenses, distorted or blurred vision or damaged frames in the first few weeks after purchase).

Of perhaps greater importance to independent eyecare practicioners, the Consumer Reports findings also state that 83 percent of survey participants who had purchased their glasses at an independent local optical boutique were highly satisfied with the variety; compared to 69 percent who had purchased from big retailers.   A separate section details which chains or types of independent shops excel in particular areas and the magazine’s report goes on to advise consumers on eyewear purchasing tips.

For more information, visit www.consumerreportshealth.org.

ECPs should keep in mind that this is a customer attitude survey and is not based on fact.  Also keep in mind that in a recession it is common for customers to drift towards vendors that are postioned lower in the marketplace.  Generally those customers drift back up when the economy improves.

The takeaway message here for ADG&A clients is to continue to focus on establishing value and to take every opportunity to communicate that value to the customer.  Product or service advantages that are not clearly communicated to customers will not establish your value.

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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November 2010

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