LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets here was rated the No. 1 supermarket pharmacy for the second year in a row, according to the 2004 WilsonRx Pharmacy Satisfaction report released by Wilson Health Information, New Hope, Pa.
In particular, Publix customers said they were satisfied with the convenient access to the pharmacy within the store, having prescriptions ready on time, sufficient store parking, and the stores' food and grocery item selection and availability, said Jim Wilson, president, Wilson Health Information.
"Being rated No. 1 in customer satisfaction means Publix is delivering on what is important to their customers. It recognizes they have gone that 'extra mile' to ensure that their customers are satisfied. It means their customers can be assured that they make the right choice when they chose their pharmacy," Wilson said.
Publix was unavailable for comment prior to publication due to hurricane concerns.
Other supermarket pharmacies included in the study were Ahold, Chantilly, Va.; Albertsons, Boise, Idaho; Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif.; and Kroger, Cincinnati. In specific markets, some supermarkets fared better than in the overall ratings, Wilson said.
Survey results were based on responses from 17,792 pharmacy customers in the top 16 U.S. metropolitan markets, which represent 50% of the household population in the country. In 2003, when Publix was also named the top supermarket pharmacy, there were 14 markets included in the survey. The survey has been conducted annually for the past four years, but was started seven years ago, Wilson explained.
Other recent industry research points to the pharmacy as an important element in lifting sales across the supermarket. The General Merchandise Distributors Council Educational Foundation, New York, released a report, "Leveraging the Synergy of Pharmacy in the Whole Store," at GMDC's Health and Beauty Care Marketing Conference in Phoenix earlier this month. The report explored how a focus on pharmacy customers can increase sales for the whole store. The methodology presented in the GMDC Educational Foundation study called for identifying high value medical conditions and the "conductor" products that patients with these conditions are documented to purchase in the rest of the store.
"The opportunity is immense," said Roy White, vice president education for GMDC, "And we believe that the consumer-centric approach we have developed will help prompt pharmacy customers to shop the whole store. By basing marketing and promotional programs on how patients address their medical conditions retailers will directly meet their needs and build their business across the store."
The Wilson study also looked at the impact of customer satisfaction for pharmacy customers.
"Our studies have also shown that customers who are more highly satisfied are more loyal, more likely to recommend their pharmacy to a friend or relative, and will spend more over a longer period of time," Wilson said.
The study found that 53% of respondents were highly satisfied with their pharmacy in the food channel. That number was the same last year when it reflected a 4% jump over 2002 figures.
In the survey results for 2004, customers who used independent pharmacies most often were most satisfied with their pharmacy: 69% said they were highly satisfied. That figure for clinic/other pharmacies was 56%; mass, 53%; mail/online, 50%; and chain pharmacies, 48%.
Target was ranked the No. 1 mass merchant/discount pharmacy; Brooks was the No. 1 chain pharmacy; and Medicine Shoppe was rated the No. 1 independent pharmacy chain for the fourth straight year.
Medco Health Solutions, Franklin Lakes, N.J., was identified in the survey as the top-rated Pharmacy Benefit Management program for the fourth year.