AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.L.A. fared much better in a separate study by J.D. Power and Associates in Westlake Village that focused on customer service at department stores. The study compared eight stores in two categories, upscale and midscale, across Atlanta, L.A. and New York. Local upscale merchants such as Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s were a close second to the top-ranked Atlanta, but could improve their merchandise display. L.A.’s midscale merchants, such as Macy’s and Kohl’s, however, ranked last. That’s partly because customers gave low marks to what they said was the most important part of the shopping experience – interacting with the sales staff. Midscale department stores could boost their ratings if their salespeople were more courteous, friendly and speedy, the study found. Midscale stores could also improve their standings by updating the stores. Customers surveyed said they wanted more checkout counters, a cleaner store and a better layout and design. “Usually people in coastal areas tend to be very critical,” said Michael De Vere, executive director of emerging industries at J.D. Power. But “customers that are shopping in L.A. tend to rate them higher” than at the same stores in New York or Atlanta. Los Angeles customer service bites, or does it? Depends on who you talk to. According to hundreds of secret shoppers who surveyed 10 major U.S. cities, L.A. was outdone only by the rude capital of the world, New York City. Shoppers who participated in the study reported their experiences to Grass Roots Performance Measurement, a company based in the United Kingdom. Grass Roots weighed the comments to calculate a score for various business sectors. L.A. drugstores bottomed out at 49 out of 100 points. Department stores were not far behind, receiving just 67 points. Anonymous testers did find exceptions, however. Realtors received 97 points while bartenders racked up 88 points. “What did surprise us was the wide variation of standards in different cities in the U.S.,” said Jane Edwards-Hall, general manager of Grass Roots in the United States. “Some of our cities have a lot of catching up to do.” J.D. Power looked at thousands of surveys filled out by customers who had shopped at a department store in the past six months. The study focused on customers’ sales experience, but also looked into the image shoppers had of each store, and why customers left stores without purchasing anything. [email protected] (818) 713-3735160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!