A staff member insisted on escorting our shopper to the Marmite when she asked for help, rather than just pointing her in the right direction, and the chatty checkout assistant offered to pack. Our shopper was so impressed with the store, she said she would return.
There were no out-of-stocks at Sainsbury's Sale branch either, but it had a longer queue than Asda and the car park was busy. However, the staff were helpful around the aisles and the checkout assistant was friendly.
An inadequate number of tills were open at Waitrose in Worcester Park, but our shopper was still impressed with her experience because the staff were knowledgeable and items were easy to find. The checkout assistant was polite and made conversation with our shoppers, but did not offer to pack.
One out-of-stock item let Tesco in Lewes down. Our shopper was not escorted to the items she needed help to find, but the assistant did give her clear directions. Plenty of tills were open and the checkout assistant greeted our shopper.
Morrisons in Swadlincote had two out-of-stock items, but helpful staff on the shop floor offered our shopper several alternatives. Plenty of tills were open, too, and the checkout assistant was cheery and offered to pack.
Winner: Geoff Boot, store manager, Asda, Stowmarket
What steps have you taken to prepare for the Christmas rush? This week we have started closely looking at what ranges we sell and how they are faring in the store. We are reviewing each department, examining the breakdown of their sales and making forecasts on how much extra stock we are going to have to order on all lines to cope with the festive period.
And how will you and your staff celebrate Christmas? We are planning to hire a venue, which will include food and a disco. There will also be an event for the night colleagues. They are invited to join the day staff's celebrations as well, but we have to find a way around it so our store is still well replenished and intact the next day. Social events can be difficult to arrange as we need people working the store 24 hours a day and the staff are from all walks of life and want different things, so it's important we get it right.
Tell me about in-store fundraising. This week we are raising money in aid of breast cancer as part of our Tickled Pink campaign. Each day we are doing something different in-store to raise awareness of the charity. For example, today the colleagues are wearing pink clothing from George, and tomorrow is pink hair day. We are hoping to raise more than £2,000 by the end of the week.
If you could change one thing about your store, what would it be? I would like a larger car park and more selling space for more non-food because I really think there is the demand for it. Next year we are looking at remodelling the store and carrying out a range review. We will look closely at the footage we have, what we can swap around, what we can reduce and what we can extend, so I'm really looking forward to that.
Our shopper was impressed with your staff. What approach do you take with them? I joined four months ago and have really focused on making sure our colleagues are really clear about what we want. This includes maintaining excellent shopkeeping standards such as service, and the best availability possible from morning to night. We work really hard to ensure our availability is strong and we are number one in our region.