The combination of the Easter weekend with school holidays meant that stores were bulging with families shopping together. The car park was full at Asda, Stockport, the store itself was heaving with shoppers, and congestion in the chilled and frozen food aisles was particularly bad because of packing trolleys. The latter were also a problem at Asda's Tyneside store. However this store did have a novel approach to checkout packing and had recruited the local Air Corp cadets to lend a hand. Proof that Safeway had been very busy prior to our visit was evident by many empty shelves and a fresh produce section almost stripped bare. Thankfully, the refurbishment at Tesco's Carlton store was complete and our shopper said it was much easier to shop. Deals on our special Easter purchase ­ a Smarties egg ­ caused out of stocks. For the second year running our Midlands shopper missed out and Asda at Stockport ran out because of the three-for-£3 offer it was running. Sainsbury's deal was five- for-£5, but Morrisons had the best buy at 99p each. Frozen food was the main culprit for the numerous out of stocks. Only Asda, Tyneside, and the Co-op checked in full baskets, the latter's £39.88 bill being 13p cheaper than Asda. {{GROCER 33 }}

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