October 18, 2011, 8:48 AM

Shoppers trust Amazon the most among major retailers

Retail scores the highest among a dozen industries in a new survey by Temkin Group.

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Amazon.com Inc. is the most trusted merchant among 27 major retailing companies in a study released today by Temkin Group, a consulting firm that specializes in customer experience.

Amazon ranked second overall in the study of 143 companies across 12 industries, trailing only credit card issuer USAA. Amazon had ranked No. 1 in a similar survey that Temkin Group released in March.

Retailers as a group fared well in the new study, finishing with the highest score among the 12 industries. And four of the eight companies rated very strong in consumer trust were retailers. After Amazon, they were Costco, Sam’s Club and Kohl’s. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, Costco No. 16, and Kohl’s No. 31. Sam’s Club is part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. whose Walmart.com is No. 6.

The results are based on a survey of 6,000 consumers in the first quarter of the year. Each respondent was asked to rate a company from 1 to 7, with 1 being “do not trust at all” to 7 being “completely trust.” For each company, Temkin Group added the percentage of 6 and 7 ratings and subtracted the ratings of 1, 2 and 3 to get a net satisfaction percentage. USAA topped the list at 69% and Amazon followed at 67%. Retailers as a group were one of only two industries, along with investment firms, to get an overall “strong” rating, which means an average score above 50%.

Most of the retailers ranked operate stores as well as selling on the web. Amazon was the only web-only merchant. The study also included online auction site and marketplace eBay, which ranked No. 39 out of 143.

Here is how the 27 retailing companies ranked among the 143 firms in the survey:

2. Amazon

3. Costco

4. Sam’s Club (tied with two others)

8. Kohl’s

9. Walgreens

10. Lowe’s

13. Old Navy

17. JC Penney

20. Macy’s

21. CVS

22. BJ’s Wholesale Club

23. Home Depot

24. Target

25. OfficeMax

28. Rite Aid (tied)

33. Barnes & Noble (tied)

33. Sears (tied)

37. Staples

39. eBay

40. Wal-Mart

41. Toys ‘R’ Us

43. Borders

45. Best Buy

51. Office Depot

65. Kmart

70. Gap

103. RadioShack

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