To support our goal of an excellent customer experience, we provide our store Associates with training to enhance interactions with customers. We also have several in-store programs designed to motivate and reward our Associates, stores, and districts, as well as programs for Associates to share ideas, including thoughts on how to further improve the customer experience. An important goal of all of our store training programs is to teach, develop, and lead teams to provide friendly and helpful customer service so that our customers can have a positive shopping experience across all of our retail chains.
Behind the scenes, we have specialized teams and systems that enable us to tailor the merchandise in our stores to local preferences and demographics. This helps us get the right products to the right stores at the right time. Our business model allows us to be flexible with our inventory, which has enhanced the treasure hunt experience and drives customer excitement and urgency, encouraging our customers to shop us again and again.
One way we measure our success is by asking customers to rate their experience using online customer satisfaction surveys. Through these responses we can provide feedback to Store Operations management so they may identify opportunities and work to address issues quickly – and ultimately improve the in-store experience. This input also allows us to develop clear customer experience training for store managers, team leaders, and Associates. The data has also helped drive broad improvements across many of our retail chains, including redesigning floor plans, creating small “shops,” and changing lighting to better highlight products. We have carefully tested each initiative for how it can drive excitement about our retail chains and products and continue to help deliver the experience we know our customers love and have come to expect.
2020 brought new operational challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have navigated those challenges, we have taken numerous steps to protect the health and well-being of our Associates and customers. When we re-opened our stores, we did so with many new health and wellness protocols, including enhanced cleaning regimens, protective shields at our cash registers, occupancy limits, and we have encouraged social distancing throughout our stores via signage, decals, and public address announcements. In addition, we have required all U.S. Associates to wear masks while working in our stores and required all U.S. customers to wear face coverings while shopping.
We believe our efforts to deliver an excellent customer experience and great service are paying off. In 2020, for the third year in a row, TJX was ranked #16 on the National Retail Federation's list of top U.S. retailers. Additionally, for the second straight year, HomeGoods was voted the #2 Brand of the Year in the home goods category by the Harris Poll, which surveyed more than 39,000 U.S. consumers measuring brand familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration.