Customer satisfaction with apparel brands held steady this year but remained at its lowest point since 1997.
This year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index for apparel stayed at 79 on a scale of 100 after descending to that level from 80 between 2011 and 2012. That’s above its historic low of 77, reached in 1997, and tied with the mark set during four consecutive years — 1998 through 2001 — as well as in 2004.
Apparel’s best showing was the 83 reached in 2010.
Among ranked apparel brands, Levi Strauss & Co. scored the highest with a rating of 82, followed by Hanesbrands Inc. and VF Corp., both at 81, and The Jones Group Inc. at 80. Levi’s score matched its mark from 2012, when it was tied with both Jones and VF. “All other brands” descended to a ranking of 78, down from 79 last year.
Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and chairman, noted that customers didn’t consider lower prices brought on by markdowns to be a sufficient explanation for perceived lower quality.
Athletic footwear was the sole nondurable goods category to post an increase in this year’s study, moving up to 81 from 80. Adidas, including ratings for Reebok, jumped to 80 from 77, while Nike Inc. ticked down to 78 from 80. “All other brands” within the category were up 3 points to 83.
Fornell pointed out that the study is subject to several variables, with improvements in market share sometimes working against customer satisfaction as brands struggle to meet heightened demand.
"In the extreme, if a company got rid of all but one of its customers and served that customer really well, it would have a high customer satisfaction score but no market,” he noted. “One should always check if defecting customers might be a reason for rising averages in customer satisfaction.”
By industry, televisions and video players rank highest at 85, followed by soft drinks and consumer shipping, which both score 84. Internet service providers have the lowest ranking by sector, at 65, with Internet social media and subscription television services tied for the next worst ranking at 68.
Founded at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and updated annually, the ACSI is derived from interviews with 70,000 consumers in the U.S. The firm plans to release its first customer satisfaction rankings for Web sites next month.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye