Woolies has beaten its rival Coles for one key reason during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey of thousands of Aussies has found. Retailers Woolworths and Coles are the nation’s most trusted brands, a recent study reveals.
According to the latest Roy Morgan Risk Report released on Monday, Australia’s two largest supermarket brands came out on top in 2021. Data scientists surveyed more than 20,000 Australians to identify the nation’s 20 most trusted and distrusted brands.
They found supermarkets, led by Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings. Then Aldi dominated the list of trusted brands amid the pandemic, which led to a retail sales boom on the back of record government support for the economy.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said the essential nature of these businesses kept them “front and center” for Aussies. They have been prevented from engaging in many activities deemed non-essential.
“Woolworths and Coles have both moved up the trust league ladder during the Covid period with their supply of food and drink (and toilet paper) keeping the economy moving, and households well-stocked, during several lockdowns which forced the closure of other retailers for sometimes months on end,” Ms. Levine said.
Bunnings Warehouse and ALDI also kept their high standings in third and fourth place, respectively. Bunnings stayed open during the lockdown as an essential business supplying goods and materials to trades and the building industry. Kmart also jumped three spots from its pre-pandemic to sixth overall.
Other companies that excelled in trustworthiness included Apple – which jumped 78 places to come seventh overall, rubbing shoulders with Toyota in the eighth position and Qantas in fifth in the top 10 most trusted brands.
However, when it came to brands Australians trusted the least, Amazon, Rio Tinto, and Huawei made the top 10 for the first time. Other brands such as Crown Resorts, Uber, Twitter, and TikTok were also in the top 20 of the most distrusted brands, many of which had endured negative publicity in recent times.
“A look at the new brands to enter the top 20 most distrusted brands list reveals a litany of missteps and controversies over the last year including Rio Tinto’s destruction of the 46,000-year-old Juukan indigenous heritage site, concerns about Chinese government influence for Huawei and Tiktok, and legal and licensing problems for Crown Resorts related to the facilitation of large-scale money laundering,” Ms. Levine said.
Central banks NAB, ANZ, and CBA managed to improve their rankings, with all three dropping out of the top 10 least trusted brands. Ms. Levine said distrust remained the most significant risk factor for companies, which needed to take heed of public sentiment.
The report’s release came as Australian retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in May 2021, seasonally adjusted, based on final retail trade figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Monday.