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NRF/Amex Customers’ Choice Survey ranks L.L. Bean No. 1, again

New York – For the third consecutive year, L.L. Bean earned the number one spot in the fifth annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customers’ Choice survey, conducted by BigResearch.

 Shoppers chose L.L.Bean as the retailer that delivers the best customer service across all retail formats, according to the survey.

Results were announced this week during the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon at the National Retail Federation’s 99th Annual Convention and Expo here at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The survey’s top 10 winners were honored at the event.

 There was little change among the top five in the list over last year.

Overstock.com, Zappos.com and Amazon.com maintained their second, third and fourth places, respectively. 

Jumping three spots from 2008 was QVC to No. 5. Other multichannel and specialty retailers in the top 10 included: Coldwater Creek at number six; Lands’ End at number eight; and JCPenney at number nine.

 HSN made significant strides this year, jumping nine spots from last year to secure the No.7 spot.

And 10th place was a tie between Nordstrom and Kohl’s, the latter of which rose from the No. 18 slot in 2008.

“With competition as its peak in 2009, retailers this past year made sure to focus on excellent customer service all year long,” said Kathy Mance, vp, NRF Foundation. “Any company who secured a spot on the list this year should congratulate themselves and their employees for a job well done.”

Added Shane Berry, svp and general manager, national client group, American Express Merchant Services: “In any economic environment, exceeding customer expectations is a critical component of managing a business. Given the challenges over the last year, these winners should be commended for continuing to distinguish themselves through ongoing service.

The NRF Foundation/American Express 2009 Customer Service survey was designed to gauge consumer attitudes toward retailers’ customer service and to provide a listing of the top customer service retailers. Consumer marketing intelligence firm BigResearch polled 8,600 consumers in September 2009. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1% percent. Consumers answered the open-ended question, “Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, internet, or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?” In order to develop a fair comparison, regardless of a retailer's size or geographic coverage, the consumer survey responses were compared to each retailer's 2008 revenues to develop the overall rankings. The survey data and the process for selecting the winners were reviewed by Professor Martin P. Block, Ph.D., of Northwestern University.

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