May 26, 2022 - Economy

Axios Harris Poll 100: Retailer reputations rise

Most reputable retail companies
Data: The Harris Poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Big box retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy saw major reputational gains last year as COVID lockdowns receded, according to new rankings from the annual Axios/Harris 100 poll.

Why it matters: Consumer frustration around supply chain issues and inflation has fallen on delivery and e-commerce companies, whereas retailers are seen as trustworthy brands.

Details: Home Depot saw one of the biggest jumps in reputation ranking among the top 100 companies, moving up 27 spots from 45 to 18, and 32 spots on trust alone, from 42 to 10.

  • Reputation rankings for Walmart and Target both improved as well, up 6 and 9 spots, respectively.
  • Best Buy saw its reputation rank drop by 3 spots, but trust ranking improve by 18.

The intrigue: Big Lots made the list this year after not making it last year. (The list of 100 companies is determined by brand recognition.)

  • Costco was also an outlier this year among retailers as its reputation fell 17 spots, with all seven of its underlying rankings (such as trust and culture) also falling.

The big picture: While retailers struggled from some of the same supply chain and employment issues that ecommerce and delivery giants faced, data shows that consumer frustration has been taken out on the tech giants instead.

  • Amazon saw a huge drop from last year in terms of its product and services ranking, dropping 5 positions from 9 to 14 this year.
  • Grubhub, Doordash, Uber, Spirit and Wish were also all poor performers compared to the last two years.

See full list: The 2022 Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings

Methodology: The Axios Harris Poll 100 is based on a survey of 33,096 Americans in a nationally representative sample conducted March 11-April 3, 2022. The two-step process starts fresh each year by surveying the public’s top-of-mind awareness of companies that either excel or falter in society.

  • These 100 “most visible companies” are then ranked by a second group of Americans across the seven key dimensions of reputation to arrive at the ranking. If a company is not on the list, it did not reach a critical level of visibility to be measured.
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