Satisfaction is Higher among Sporting Goods Retailer Club Members than among Non-Members

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Cabela's Ranks Highest in Overall Customer Satisfaction

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 6 March 2013 Club memberships, while not necessarily creating more loyal customers, positively impact overall customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Sporting Goods Retailer Satisfaction ReportSM released today.

Now in its second year, the report measures the overall sporting goods retailer customer satisfaction experience by examining five key factors: staff, cost, merchandise, facility, and sales/promotions.

Key Findings

  • The average price per transaction at a sporting goods retailer is $89.72.
  • More than one-third (36%) of survey respondents are club members of a sporting goods retail store.
  • The average checkout time at a sporting goods retail store is 11 minutes, while the fastest average brand checkout time is 9 minutes.

The report finds that overall satisfaction with sporting goods retailers is 823 (on a 1,000-point scale) among club members, compared with 800 among non-members. However, club membership does not always create brand advocacy or loyalty. Among the four retailers with the highest proportion of club members, three of the brands have less than 45 percent of their customers saying they "definitely will" recommend the brand. Additionally, only two of those four brands have an above the report average (44%) percentage of customers who say they "definitely will" repurchase the brand.

The report finds that a courteous and knowledgeable sales staff is the key driver of customer satisfaction with a sporting goods brand. Among the five study factors, staff (30%) has the highest importance weight in determining overall satisfaction, followed by cost (22%), merchandise (18%), facility (17%) and sales/promotions (14%).

"While there is a link between club membership and higher customer satisfaction with a brand, membership does not always impact loyalty and advocacy," said Sally Lombardo, research director at J.D. Power and Associates. "Instead, customer satisfaction is more influenced by the sales staff, cost and merchandise options above all else. Sporting goods retailers must understand that while club memberships may create inclusiveness, they need to be able to provide a complete experience to impact loyalty in order to keep customers coming back."

Among the nine retail brands included in the report, Cabela's ranks highest with an overall score of 828 and performs particularly well in the staff, merchandise, facility and sales/promotions factors. Following Cabela's in the rankings are Academy Sports + Outdoors (824), Bass Pro Shops (818) and REI (814), all outperforming the report average of 808.

According to the report, 62 percent of Cabela's customers say they "definitely will" recommend the brand, which is significantly higher than the report average (50%). In addition, 51 percent of Cabela's customers say they "definitely will" repurchase the brand, which is higher than the report average of 44 percent and the majority of the brands included in the report.

The 2013 Sporting Goods Retailer Satisfaction Report is based on responses of more than 1,600 customers who purchased a product at a sporting goods retailer store in the previous 30 days. The report was fielded in December 2012 and January 2013.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard & Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries.  Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com

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No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218
Westlake Village, California
(805) 418-8103