Helpful staff and an efficient checkout service helped Asda in Parkhead clinch the award for best overall service this week despite it not having the best availability.

An assistant took the time to help our shopper find the right shelf for facial wipes which turned out to be out-of-stock but the store was immaculate and staff ushered him to a vacant checkout, helping speed up shopping time.

Our shopper found it easy to find items at Sainsbury's in Swadlincote thanks to clear signage and friendly staff who were knowledgeable about product locations. The store was let down by an untidy vegetable section, which was lacking stock in some areas, and our shopper was not offered help with packing.

Morrisons in Chapel-en-le-Frith didn't appear a happy ship, according to our shopper, who found most staff showing little interest, while the checkout operator appeared tired and bored, and failed to scan the broccoli.

At Tesco in Osterley, which had one out-of-stock this week, our shopper was refused help weighing fruit despite scales nearby. Store shelves had several gaps but staff were replenishing some of them.

Own-label cooking apples were out-of-stock at Waitrose in Berkhamsted. The store was tidy but our shopper tried to ask a member of staff a question and was ignored and she was not ­offered help with packing.

Craig O’Connor, deputy store manager, Asda Parkhead
You mentioned the store is surrounded by Tescos. How do you compete? We focus on our Price Guarantee. Shoppers are more price-focused now as we live in challenging times so we're all chasing the same customer. I have been with Asda for nine years and it has the customers' interests at heart it knows with the recession that price is key. That is our big differentiator driving customers to Asda rather than to any of our competitors.

What is the most challenging thing about the job you and manager Robbie McDonald do? Keeping on top of the offers we've got on and trying not to disappoint the customers. We're doing hundreds of fantastic half-price and better-than-half-price offers in-store at the moment, which obviously draw in a lot of customers, so it is a case of making sure we have the availability.

Which products have been selling well recently? We're doing really well in our half-price George sale at the moment. Sales of beers, wines and spirits sales are performing well on the back of promotions that have been going for the past two weeks.

How do you encourage good service among your staff? We have Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD), which is our company-wide recognition scheme that rewards colleagues who go above and beyond the call of duty for customers, colleagues and the community.

We also have our own mystery shoppers to make sure standards are kept high, and there are celebratory meals for staff who deliver results. As with The Grocer 33, they assess availability and service and interact with colleagues to ensure they tick all the boxes, engage with the customer and help them find products they need.

How does the store engage with the local community? Our Colleagues of the Community, Ann-Marie Rocks and Toby Flannigan, have worked hard to develop our relationship with all local community groups and raise funds for the charities we are associated with. Staff recently took part in a bike ride from the store all the way to Loch Lomond.