HOUSTON -- Customer satisfaction levels for U.S. gasoline retailers remained essentially flat in 2018 compared to 2017, according to results from EnergyPoint Research’s 2018 Gasoline Retailers Customer Satisfaction Survey. This year’s top-ranked retailer is Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons, which owns and operates more than 190 convenience stores in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
- Thorntons ranked No. 41. in CSP's 2018 Top 202 listing of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
Wawa rated second overall with customers, capturing top marks for convenience and ease, as well as for its loyalty and rewards program. The company also rated first in total satisfaction in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. Rounding out the top five in terms of total satisfaction were RaceTrac, QuikTrip and Sheetz.
“For the third year in a row, customers indicate that their experiences at the retail pump exceed those of other segments of the industry," said Doug Sheridan, founder and managing director of EnergyPoint, Houston. "The top-rated companies are more than just refueling posts for customers—they are favored destinations that Americans increasingly rely upon to power their busy lifestyles.”
For this survey, EnergyPoint asked more than 26,000 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 75 to rate the retailers with which they have had a significant experience as a paying customer in the past three months. More than 30 questions focused on features and attributes that drive satisfaction among customers of gasoline retailers, including pricing and value, service quality, ease and convenience, motor fuels, food and merchandise, store facilities, loyalty and rewards programs, commercial and fleet programs and highway and distance travel. Respondents gave stores a consumer satisfaction score, which topped out at 110. Consumers ranked stores for the overall United States and regionally in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, Northwest and West.
Listed alphabetically, companies rating first in at least one category in the survey include:
- Andeavor-affiliated stores in highway and distance travel in the Southwest.
- BP and affiliate stores in commercial and fleet services in the overall U.S.; in highway and distance travel in the overall U.S., mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West; and in convenience and ease in the West.
- Chevron and affiliated stores in motor fuels in the overall U.S., Northwest and Southeast; and in highway and distance travel in the Northwest.
- Costco in both total satisfaction and value in the Northwest; and in food and merchandise in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
- Cumberland Farms in total satisfaction, food and merchandise, service quality, store facilities and loyalty and rewards programs in the Northeast.
- Kroger in total satisfaction, motor fuels, value and three additional categories in the West; in motor fuels in the mid-Atlantic, Southwest and Midwest; and in loyalty and rewards programs in the Southwest and West.
- Kum & Go in convenience and ease, as well as loyalty and rewards programs, in the Midwest.
- Marathon and affiliated stores in convenience and ease, motor fuels and value in the Northeast; and in branded stations in the Northeast and Southeast.
- Maverik in service quality, store facilities, loyalty and rewards programs, food and merchandise, and convenience and ease in the Northwest; and in convenience and ease in the Southwest.
- Phillips 66 in branded stations in the overall U.S., mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest and West; and in service quality in the West.
- Pilot Flying J in highway and distance travel in the Midwest.
- QuikTrip in store facilities and food and merchandise in the overall U.S.; in store facilities in the Midwest, Southwest and Southeast; in total satisfaction, service quality and food and merchandise in the Southwest; and in food and merchandise in the Midwest.
- Thorntons in total satisfaction, value and service quality in the overall U.S. and Midwest.
- Wawa in total satisfaction in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast; in convenience and ease in the overall U.S., mid-Atlantic and Southeast; in service quality in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast; in loyalty and rewards programs in the overall U.S., mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions; and in three additional categories.
Other gas-station and c-store companies rated in the survey include 7-Eleven, Alimentation Couche-Tard-affiliated stores, Allsup’s, Casey’s General Stores, CEFCO, Cenex, CITGO, ExxonMobil, E-Z Mart, Global Partners-affiliated stores, Kwik Fill, Kwik Trip, Love’s Travel Stops, Murphy USA, MAPCO and affiliated stores, Meijer, RaceTrac and affiliated stores, Sheetz, Shell, Sinclair, Stewart’s Shops and TravelCenters of America. It also included Sam's Club.
“Despite the loss of several competitors to consolidation, the number of retailers rated in this year’s survey is the highest ever,” Sheridan said. “Circle K, Corner Store and Holiday Stationstores were consolidated into Alimentation Couche-Tard for purposes of the study; however, several new companies were added to the rankings, including Andeavor-affiliated stores, CEFCO, Global Partners-affiliated stores, MAPCO and affiliates, Maverik and Thorntons. This expanded list better captures the range of companies active in the highly competitive space.”
EnergyPoint Research conducts independent research regarding customer satisfaction in the global energy industry, offering rankings and ratings in several segments, including gasoline retailing, midstream services and upstream products and services.