Lofty levels of customer service, perfect availability and an inviting shopping environment marked Asda's Whitley Road store out as the clear winner of this week's Top Store award.

Our shopper described staff as well presented and "eager to help". He spent no time queuing at the checkout and was also offered help packing his goods. He also raved about the 65,000 sq ft store's offer, which includes a large non food section, pharmacy, photo centre and George clothing.

The victory tasted particularly sweet for new manager Hugh Kitching, who had claimed The Grocer 33's prestigious award back in June when he managed Asda's Gateshead store in Newcastle.

Morrisons' Sproughton Road store in Ipswich was the closest contender for the award, having clear, well-merchandised aisles, and helpful staff.

However, with just 16 of its 28 checkouts in operation, customers were having to queue for above-average levels of time before being served. The store was also out of stock of own label sultanas.

Tesco, Sainsbury's and Somerfield did not fare so well.

Boxes on the floor obstructed aisles at Tesco's Stratford Road store, while the car park at Sainsbury's Holywood was littered with abandoned trolleys. Staff at the checkout did not greet our shopper or help packing bags.

Our Somerfield shopper was irked by mistakes on her receipt.

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