Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Lead in Retailer COVID-19 Safety

According to a new study from global research firm Ipsos, Costco, Whole Foods Market, and Trader Joe’s ranked as the top three grocery retailers in coronavirus related health and safety measures. 

The study, the Ipsos Consumer Health & Safety Index that launched in early June, takes a closer look at the COVID-19 related health and safety measures for retailers in seven industries. The study was conducted by polling 2,000 Americans to learn more about which health and safety related measures they consider to be the most important during the pandemic and through “mystery shops,” where Ipsos visited stores across 45 major U.S. brands across a random 125 locations to gauge retailer compliance.

Among the most important health and safety related measures cited by shoppers were company-issued face coverings, customer capacity limits in stores, social distancing markers around the store, seeing employees wipe down or clean high-traffic areas, and dividers at checkout stations. 

“We found that 62% of shoppers would stop shopping at a retailer not taking health and safety seriously,” Nick Mercurio, executive vice president and service line head of U.S. channel performance at Washington, D.C.-based Ipsos, said in a statement.

Receiving high marks for their “near universal compliance” in facial coverings, with associates wearing face masks in 98% of their stores, Whole Foods was the top-performing retailer in the Consumer Health & Safety Index. Whole Foods also ranked high in compliance with social distancing markers around the store (91% of stores), dividers at checkout stations (95%) and contactless payment (87%). 

Behind Whole Foods came Costco, with 83% of workers wearing face coverings outside the store, 95% of employees wearing face coverings in the store, and 94% of the clubs using social distancing markers. In third came Trader Joe’s with 94% of stores actively managing shopper capacity at the entrance. 

“The ability to deliver on health and safety efforts is now the most important aspect of the customer experience, and it will be for some time,” according to Mercurio. “Ensuring protections are in place to keep consumers safe, healthy and loyal in the ‘six-foot economy’ is the primary driver that inspired our inaugural Consumer Health & Safety Index,” he added.