More Americans are fueling up at supermarkets and warehouse clubs instead of traditional service stations because of the competitive prices and loyalty-based discounts, according to a new survey.
The report, conducted by Market Force Information, concludes that it's simply a matter of convenience, price—and cleanliness.
"None of us look forward to going to a gas station, so if you're there anyway and you can fill up, you feel like you're getting two things out of the way," noted Janet Eden-Harris, Market Force CMO. "And they're typically clean."
Market Force asked more than 5,300 motorists across the U.S. and Canada how satisfied they were the last time they pulled up to the pump and how likely they were to return. The results were averaged to create a Composite Loyalty Score.
Supermarket giant Kroger had the highest score of 79 (out of 100). Costco and QuikTrip (a chain of convenience stores located mostly in the Midwest and South) tied at 78. Sam's Club ranked third with a 76.
The survey found that 7-Eleven had the lowest satisfaction score of 47.
It's hard to beat location
Despite the high marks, supermarkets and wholesale clubs have an uphill battle when it comes to closing the deal. Many drivers said they end up going to a traditional gas station simply because it's closer to home.
When asked what they like about their favorite gas station, 61 percent of those polled said location while price was cited by 59 percent.
"Convenience is often an overarching consideration for consumers on the go, and it's difficult to beat the pervasiveness of the regional and national chains that dot every town across America." Eden-Harris said.