4 ASX shares just got a massive boost

When it comes to trust, it seems our supermarkets are top of the list…

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Happy couple laughing while shopping in supermarket

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Trust in institutions has been waning in recent times, so an ASX-listed company is doing well if its reputation improves over time.

This week 4 ASX shares enjoyed a nice boost from exactly that.

Research firm Roy Morgan this week revealed the latest Australia’s ‘most trusted brands’ league ladder.

And it seems in the age of COVID-19, Australians have high trust in basic goods retail.

Australians trust their supermarkets

Supermarket giants Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) are the most and second most trusted brands respectively, as Australians stepped over each other to buy precious toilet paper.

A couple of Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) labels also rated highly for the June quarter, with Bunnings Warehouse coming 3rd and Kmart ranked 5th.

The privately held grocery chain Aldi was the 4th most trusted, rounding out the top 5.

Roy Morgan chief Michele Levine said the big three supermarkets have proved essential for Australians in the past 18 months.

“The latest lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra will again emphasise their importance to many.”

The other big winner was department store Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR), whose shares have enjoyed a long-awaited revival in the past few weeks.

It was a new entrant to the top 10, ranking as the 7th most trusted brand in the country.

Similarly, Woolworths’ department store BigW also barged into the club for the first time, at number 10.

Much uncertainty after current lockdowns end

When current coronavirus lockdowns end, 70% or 80% of the adult population will be fully vaccinated.

And that would bring unprecedented difficulties for retailers, according to Levine.

“This is a big difference from prior lockdowns as Australians will be ‘living with COVID’ for the first time when these lockdowns end,” she said.

“This new ‘COVID-normal’ will provide a challenging environment for retailers that rely heavily on personal interactions between staff and customers. The big question facing retailers is how they manage the questions of ‘vaccination mandates’ for staff and ‘vaccination passports’ for customers without destroying the trust they’ve built up over the past year.”

The retail sector, as the public-facing layer of commerce, would have to put up with enforcing the rights of the vaccinated — or more aptly, the denial of unvaccinated customers.

“Retailers in particular will face the ‘sharp edge’ of these issues with the high level of interactions between staff and customers they deal with every day of the week.”

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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