There were plenty of staff around the immaculate store and when our shopper asked an assistant to point her to the penne pasta, he escorted her to it. The shelves were brimming with stock and the aisles were clear of packing trolleys. Plenty of tills were open and a friendly checkout assistant chatted to our shopper about the weather.
Sainsbury's in Darnley also impressed. The staff looked smart and were happy to help. Our shopper had no problems locating the items and plenty of tills were open.
Tesco in South Queensferry was let down by two out-of-stocks and a blunt checkout assistant. He did not greet our shopper and abruptly asked if she had a Clubcard. The floor staff were helpful, though, and plenty of tills were open. Waitrose’s Burgess Hill store had two out-of-stock items. The staff were friendly, however, and the checkout assistant was very polite and offered to pack.
Availability let down Morrisons in Bognor Regis. The fresh aisles were low in stock and our shopper bought the last three carrots. There were also several abandoned cages and packing trolleys blocking the aisles. The staff were friendly, though, and the checkout assistant was smiling.
Winner: Scott Maconachie, store manager, Asda, Dunbar
Our shopper was impressed with how your staff insisted on escorting her to an item. Have you upped your focus on service? It's all part of our Warm and Friendly Service initiative. We have always taken our shoppers to the items, because it's a good opportunity to interact with them and gives us a great point of difference. A couple of months ago, each colleague did a two-hour training session on how to really impress customers. We have really stepped up our performance and scored 100% on our own mystery shop recently.
Your nearest competitors are quite far away. Who is your biggest competitor? Tesco in Haddington. It is slightly bigger and stocks a similar range of products to us. I often visit the stores around here to check out the local competition and I think we compete well. Our store is clutter-free and we have some great offers - our recent three-for-£10 or six-for-£20 deals on wine went down brilliantly.
Tell me about your local ranges. We are a Gold Store for local food, which means we are in the top quarter of Asda stores for having the highest number of local products. We sell all sorts of traditional Scottish products, from cakes and sweets to drinks and even beer from the brewery next door.
What impact has the sunny weather had on sales? Shoppers are buying much more fresh produce than before. We have had lots of good weather up here recently and we get a lot of holidaymakers coming in because we are on the coast and there are lots of caravan sites around us.
Is the non-food you stock changing? We are a fairly small store so have quite a condensed range of non-food. We are getting a core range of George menswear in the next four to five weeks, because our shoppers have told us they want it through our Tell Asda customer feedback scheme. We have had some great feedback from that service and hold the second-highest score in central Scotland.
How do you and your staff socialise outside work? We have nights out now and again and have just organised a 70s night for July to celebrate Asda winning the G33 cheapest retailer award.