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.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty