The Most Reputable Retailer in America

Hint: It's not Amazon.

Midsection of couple with shopping bags in cityKamil Macniak/Shutterstock

People attach themselves to brands and specific retailers for their quality products, great deals, and even emotional connections. The Reputation Institute, a company that measures and manages various company reputations, found in a study that one retailer checks off all these boxes: Barnes & Noble.

The survey looks at the emotional bonds individuals have with companies as well as their willingness to buy a company’s products, recommend the brand, and invest in or work for the company. The 2018 ranking accounts for 88 nominated companies rated by 10,000 people in the general public. Barnes & Noble takes the top spot with the best reputation overall. Survey participants had the strongest emotional connection to the bookseller. Though it held the first place position from 2014-2016, Amazon is now in second place; Barnes & Noble outperformed the online shopping giant in key areas, such as governance and workplace. Cabela’s, Autozone, and Costco round out the top five. This is the grocery store with the worst reputation in America.

According to the survey, because the top five companies offer products at a good value, customers are 4 percent more willing to buy from them than the average retailer. The research also shows that the more emotional value a product has to an individual, the greater that person’s intent to purchase it.

On the other end of the spectrum, the company facing the most challenges with its reputation is Abercrombie & Fitch. The clothing company scored low in offering products at a good value and having a positive social influence. The brand has recently tried changing its image by trading out their logo-designed clothes with more updated wardrobe pieces and altering their hiring requirements for store workers, Fortune reports. Next, check out these 50 insider secrets to save money at all of your favorite stores.

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Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.