Asda remained top for price, Morrisons was brilliant on availability, while Waitrose has proved to be the star

in customer service

The results are in - and the past six months have had little impact on the identity of the cheapest supermarket. Despite a concerted effort by Tesco, Asda’s impressive pricing record has enabled it to retain a firm grasp on its crown.
Asda has claimed The Grocer 33’s cheapest shopping basket for 19 of the past 27 shops conducted for the survey, as well as yielding the cheapest average shopping basket for six of the seven different baskets that we have compiled in the past six months.
However, despite Tesco claiming the cheapest shopping basket only four times in the past six months, the trends depicted in The Grocer 100 (see facing page) illustrate just how close the pricing battle between arch rivals Tesco and Asda has now become.
The price competition between Sainsbury and Morrisons has proved the most fascinating of the past six months, as both clamour for the title of third-cheapest supermarket. Sainsbury chief executive Justin King’s recovery plan has been working for the retailer, which, like Tesco, has claimed the cheapest shopping basket of the six major multiples four times in the past six months, as well as providing a cheaper average shopping basket than Morrisons for two of the seven different baskets compiled.
While our pricing surveys are carried out by research specialists ESA, The Grocer has its own team of mystery shoppers who go into stores to monitor the equally critical areas of customer service and availability.
The Grocer 33 results show that Tesco has scored the lowest availability record of the six major multiples that we monitor. Tesco has racked up 44 out of stocks over the past 27 shops, resulting in an availability score of just 95%. And while Asda may hold the crown for the lowest-priced supermarket, our results show the retailer still has more ground to cover in the availability and customer service stakes.
However, Asda boss Andy Bond this week pledged that one of his key priorities was to fix the basics in store - with stock levels, service and shopability all top of his to do list. And he promised there would be “no grumpy buggers” on the tills, adding: “We will deliver a hassle-free shopping experience with personality.”
Asda had 36 items out of stock during the past six months, and its subsequent 95.93% availability score is only marginally higher than Tesco’s, and some distance behind Morrisons, The Grocer 33’s star performer in this field.
When it comes to putting products on shelves, Morrisons has once again proved that it is the indisputable champion. The retailer surpassed the already exceptional results reported in The Grocer 33’s End Of Year Report on June 11, and scored 98.54%. Over the past six months, only 13 out of stocks were reported by our mystery shoppers at Morrisons, proving that when it comes to availability, there is one more reason to shop at Morrisons.
The third element of our weekly shopping survey involves customer