H-E-B Earns Top Spot on Retailer Preference Index List

San Antonio, Texas-based H-E-B achieved first place among American grocery stores on the Retailer Preference Index (RPI) released by data analytics firm dunnhumby. The sixth annual RPI is based on a survey of 10,000 consumers and retailers’ financial results. The index analyzes the 63 largest grocery retailers to ascertain which companies have the strongest consumer loyalty and financial performance in the $800+ billion U.S. grocery market. The study may be used to predict which retailers are best situated to achieve long-term success.

The top three grocers in both consumer’s emotional attachment and financial performance were H-E-B, Costco and Amazon, in that order. Other retailers in the top 10 spots include Wegman’s, Sam’s Club, Market Basket, Amazon Fresh, Trader Joe’s, WinCo Foods and BJ’s Wholesale Club, which took spots 4 through 10, respectively. Some of the largest retailers in the survey, Kroger and Albertsons, finished 21st and 47th respectively. “A take-away from [the results] for Albertsons is perhaps they are over-investing in a seamless experience and saving customers time and should be shifting some of that focus toward investing in base prices, better promotions and in identifying the right assortment for their shoppers,” the report stated. Club stores such as Sam’s and Costco continue to fare well due to their perceived value and dependable shopping experience.

The RPI results highlight the impact of COVID-19 on shopping trends. Last year, Amazon beat out H-E-B for the top spot as shoppers prioritized online shopping during the pandemic for time savings. Over the past year, double digit inflation caused Amazon to lose ground as customers prioritized cost savings over time savings. H-E-B’s success this year is attributed to its high marks in the quality of products, low prices, rewards and promotions, according to dunnhumby’s analysis. H-E-B has also received top marks from customers for its online shopping experience. Last summer, H-E-B narrowly beat Amazon as the top-ranked online grocery retailer in dunnhumby’s first eCommerce RPI. H-E-B earned almost $39 billion in revenue last year across 430 stores in Texas and Mexico. It is among the top 10 biggest private companies in the U.S.