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For Third Year Running, L.L.Bean Ranks Number One in Customer Service

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (212)624-8431 or grannisk@nrf.com

Click here for list of top ten winners
Click here to download complete list of winners

For Third Year Running, L.L.Bean Ranks Number One in Customer Service

New York, January 12, 2010 – Maintaining their coveted spot at the top of the list, L.L. Bean once again lands the number one position as the retailer with the best customer service.  According to the fifth annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customers’ Choice survey, conducted by BIGresearch, shoppers revealed that L.L.Bean delivers the best customer service across all retail formats. Results were announced today during the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon during the National Retail Federation’s 99th Annual Convention and EXPO in New York City. The top 10 winners of the survey were honored at the luncheon. 

There was little change in the top five this year as retailers in positions two, three and four each held on to the same top five spots they secured last year; Overstock.com (#2), Zappos.com (#3) and Amazon.com (#4) made big impressions on shoppers again this year. Jumping three spots from 2008, QVC (#5) rounded out the top five. Other multichannel and specialty retailers in the top 10 include Coldwater Creek (#6), Lands’ End (#8) and JCPenney (#9). Climbing nine spots to secure a top 10 position was HSN (#7) and tied for 10th were Nordstrom and Kohl’s. Kohl’s also jumped up the list from number 18 in 2008.

“With competition as its peak in 2009, retailers this past year made sure to focus on excellent customer service all year long,” said NRF Foundation Vice President Kathy Mance. “Any company who secured a spot on the list this year should congratulate themselves and their employees for a job well done.”

“American Express congratulates the 2009 winners for their achievements in providing superior customer service,” said Shane Berry, senior vice president and general manager, national client group, American Express Merchant Services. “In any economic environment, exceeding customer expectations is a critical component of managing a business. Given the challenges over the last year, these winners should be commended for continuing to distinguish themselves through ongoing service.”

About the Survey

The NRF Foundation/American Express 2009 Customer Service survey was designed to gauge consumer attitudes toward retailers’ customer service and to provide a listing of the top customer service retailers. The survey, which polled 8,600 consumers, was conducted by consumer marketing intelligence firm BIGresearch in September 2009 The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent. Consumers answered the open ended question, “Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, internet, or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?” In order to develop a fair comparison, regardless of a retailer's size or geographic coverage, the consumer survey responses were compared to each retailer's 2008? revenues to develop the overall rankings. The survey data and the process for selecting the winners were reviewed by Professor Martin P. Block, Ph.D., of Northwestern University.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch’s syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 8,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace.

American Express Company is a leading global payments, network, travel and banking company founded in 1850. Merchant Services is the merchant network of American Express, which acquires and maintains relationships with millions of merchants around the globe, which welcome American Express-branded Cards.

The NRF Foundation is the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation. A non-profit foundation created in 1981, the Foundation conducts industry research, develops education and workforce development programs, professional certification programs and promotes retailing as a career destination. The NRF Foundation benefits retailers, their associates and business partners and allies, and consumers in many ways. Research provides the basis for education about the industry and its importance to the economy, and provides industry and government leaders with an analysis of public policy decisions on consumers, retailers, and the economy. The Foundation’s education and career development efforts, including NRF University wired, encourage professional development and excellence in performance of retailing for associates and executives at all levels.

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