Wednesday, July 24

10 Worst Grocery Stores in America

What’s YOUR favorite grocery store?

If we go back in time to 1930, King Kullen Grocery Company in Long Island, NY, was opening up the first supermarket that offered a one-stop-shopping experience for consumers buying groceries.

Nowadays, though, Walmart is currently the largest grocery store in America, followed by Kroger, Costco, and Safeway. But are they the best? We can all speak from experience when we say that not all supermarkets are created equal.

Crowded aisles, insufficient checkout lanes, out-of-stock items, and limited assortments are among the most common resentments customers have, according to Consumer Reports. We obviously can’t have it all.

But we at least want to know: What are the WORST grocery stores in our country?… Stick with us, and you’ll find out!

Brainy Savings Tip: When it’s time to hit the grocery store and start throwing stuff in your cart, you should consider shopping for store-brand items. They’re generally more affordable in price but still taste just as good if not better than those big name-brand alternatives.

Grocery Store
Photo by Aaron of L.A. Photography at Shutterstock

Pick ‘n Save

While Kroger usually likes to acquire well-run grocery chains, it, unfortunately, bought a fixer-upper this time around. The Pick ‘n Save located in Wisconsin, for instance, was bought in 2015.

According to customers, this is a grocery store that’s perfect to do your shopping if you like to waste your time! Wow, that sounds rough! But apparently, they have a lot of aged produce and items stocked on their shelves that are beyond their expiration dates.

Yelp reviewers and Consumer Reports readers alike were also pretty upset about this grocery store’s prices as well. But the cherry on top is that shoppers have said that the products are somehow simultaneously expired AND overpriced.

And to make matters worse, shoppers also say that the floor is disgusting and looks like it hasn’t been mopped in a while, and the service from employees is awful, too. Kroger is working to upgrade the stores to get them where they should be.

And obviously, not a moment too soon!

Stop & Shop

Apparently, this grocery store is considered among some of the worst of the worst! Both Yelp and Consumer Report readers have an issue with the store’s checkouts. Many consumers say that they only shop here if they don’t have any other options.

But it’s more than just the checkout situation that’s bad. Many complain about the entire store store in general. One reviewer wasn’t even able to find their words in regard to how much they dislike this grocery store, stating: “I can’t. I just can’t!”

Winn-Dixie

This next grocery store on our list seems to be in even worse shape if that’s possible! Customers have described it as a 70s-style grocery shopping experience but with all the inflation prices added on top.

According to Consumer Reports, their readers are likewise underwhelmed by this Southern chain, placing it at the number 11 spot for the worst grocery stores. This came as a shock to us because Winn-Dixie seems to look so snazzy and nice on the outside.

But apparently, that’s just a cover for its unappealing inside. Customers have also reported not having a good selection of products, deceitful sale prices, and never-ending long lines. The worst part? there are no baggers either.

Acme

Acme’s biggest downfall is its cost, according to consumers. It received a less-than-satisfactory rating on price points. Although, at least survey respondents were somewhat satisfied with the cleanliness and neutral on food service and quality.

Facing increased competition from other grocery stores, Acme had to lay off over 900 part-time workers in recent years and even ended their “free Thanksgiving turkey” program for loyal customers to cut costs.

Could this be the beginning of the end for this supermarket? Time will only tell!

Grocery Store
Photo by Jonathan Weiss at Shutterstock

Jewel-Osco

Jewel-Osco has been around for quite some time. And once upon a time, this grocery store was a favorite among shoppers. But Consumer Reports readers particularly rated one of Chicago’s locations poorly for its high prices. Things don’t look good for the Yelp reviews, either.

Customers complain about the low quality of products, and they’re also pretty disgusted about the store’s unsanitary conditions.

There are plenty of bad reviews on yelp, but the bottom line on Jewel is that many simply wish they would go out of business so that a better supermarket would come along! Well, one can always hope, folks!

Sam’s Club, Members Mark Products

We all love big box stores like Sam’s Club, and there isn’t anything wrong with doing your grocery shopping at stores like these. But this particular brand as a whole is somewhat underwhelming, according to consumers.

They’re reported to have very few specialty items that are worth walking through the doors of this warehouse club.

If you absolutely NEED to shop at Sam’s Club, however, we recommend buying items like Members Mark Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels or the Members Mark Deluxe Mixed Nuts to keep your snack habit in check.

Safeway

Many people are starting to think that Safeway just seems to be going downhill in general. Specifically, Consumer Reports readers aren’t big fans of Safeway’s big prices, and they hate its inefficient checkout lines.

It seems as though this grocer always has lines that wrap around and back up through the aisles, making shopping a nightmare for many consumers.

But hey…at least they finally took down the signs announcing that they would open another checkout if there were 3 or more people in line!

But seriously, folks, after a busy day or week, no one wants to spend all that time shopping just to stand in never-ending lines at the end of it all. We’d all rather get home and put our feet up, Safeway!

A & P

Would you believe us if we were to tell you that A&P used to be the largest food retailer in our country? Unfortunately, bigger names came along and seemed to have blown this grocery store out of the water!

It has recently received rather poor marks on prices and their service, an ok review on the quality of their food, and “fairly satisfied” on their cleanliness. But sadly, 22% of consumers have said they experience three or more issues with this store.

Grocery Store
Photo by Sundry Photography at Shutterstock

Shaw’s

This grocery store is getting some bad press, but it’s not as bad as some of the others on our list of worst grocery stores in America. It’s true that the brand received a lower score on their prices.

But on the other hand, it got neutral scores on the quality of food and their service. Their cleanliness scored just above average, and 20% of Shaw’s shoppers said that they experienced 3 or more issues while shopping here.

The supermarket closed down a few stores during the recession and laid off 4% of its full-time employees while they were at it. At least the good news is that many stores have been undergoing updates and remodels.

Walmart

Finally, the worst of the worst has even surprised our staff! Walmart claims its position at the bottom of the grocery barrel. And the vote was decisive. According to Consumer Reports, it earned the worst possible rating in seven out of the twelve categories:

  • cleanliness
  • checkout
  • staff courtesy
  • local product quality
  • produce quality and variety
  • meat/poultry quality

The best rating this supermarket received was for its prices. So even though reports show that shoppers hate Walmart, it’ll still be in business as long as it keeps offering those low prices. Conclusion? The worst grocery store in America is apparently good enough.

And while we’re on the subject of prices. We’re always on the hunt for great deals. The one we found today? Amazon’s brand: Presto! 313 Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper. It’s practically a steal!

Which one is YOUR least favorite grocery store in the US? Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you think. Meanwhile, we think you’ll also enjoy reading about 14 Garage Sale Items That Could Secretly Be Worth a Ton

9 thoughts on “10 Worst Grocery Stores in America”

  1. We recently were on a week away from home (Texas) and were in Newport, R.I. We shopped for breakfast items for our condo at Stop and Shop. Things were hard to find – even with their signage. Their store organization was unlike what we are accustomed to having and it was hard to locate things we were wanting. Their checkout is COMPLETELY SELF SERVE! Give me a break! I DO NOT DO SELF CHECKOUT AT HOME, WHY DO I WANT TO DO IT AWAY FROM HOME! We had to have help and we had to stand and wait for a person to come and bail us out and he was extremely impatient with us. STOP AND SHOP definitely does not get any kudos from me!

  2. Stephen Randolph

    Walmart is a lousy grocery,not only because of the already identified reasons, but also because it really isn’t a “full service” grocery. They only sell maybe 1000 items that are high volume sellers. Spices are only one example of limited items they sell. If you have much of a grocery list, you’ll invariably need to go to a full service grocery to purchase items they don’t stock. Their meats and produce are always second rate.

    1. I beg to differ…..maybe your Wal Mart store is like that but all the ones in my area are great. They all have a large assortment of spices…..their brand and also name brands plus a line of Mexican spices for anything you want to make. WM is my go to and then I fill in with Aldi, depending on their weekly circular.
      Our Wal Marts are clean, well organized and friendly folks work there…..if something is not on a shelf, just ask, as they probably have it in the stock room. Produce is turned regularly and bakery is awesome.
      Our Wal Marts are definitely full service stores.

  3. I’ll never shop at Walmart! The “Great Value” products give “subpar “ a bad name. Deli meats are only fresh for a coupe of days. The beef is tough. It’s a nightmare shopping experience

  4. Mary Margaret Thomas

    The Walmart I frequent in Ballentine, SC is one of the better ones I found. Prices are the best. Staff is very friendly with one or two exceptions over the last 3 going on 4 years I have been shopping there.
    The One in Harbison, SC is awful. Lines are always long, even the self-checkout lines are a mess there.
    I don’t frequent here. Though Aldi’s is putting up a store across the street and will give it a run for its money with me too.

  5. I love shopping at Publix in Florida. Unfortunately, Pick n Save in Wisconsin sold me a dozen eggs which had expired a week earlier and weren’t cheap. I took them back the next day and got a refund.

  6. Walmart just stinks……but if you can deal with mediocre / questionable quality the Great Value stuff is good equivalent to other store brands. Just be sure to have a good grocery to visit for anything that you need of good quality..You can save money. Then there is the checkout ordeal. @#$#@#$. Enough said.

  7. Walmart here in KS doesn’t fair better. Prices are high, brand names are disappearing, and I haven’t bought meat there in years. Produce lasts a very short time. We started buying online delivery and had to quit buying eggs. A doz. Isn’t cheap but makes it more expensive when 4 of 12 are broken. Plus when buying in store there are no manned cash registers. One is set up for assisted purchases that is seldom manned. Prices don’t reflect self service.

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