Waitrose in Comely Bank, Edinburgh, was the other store to offer a full basket. Our shopper liked the assistants chatting to her after she asked for help finding items, and although she had to queue for the checkout, the man who scanned the shopping made conversation and helped pack.
Our shopper had no fewer than eight encounters with staff at Sainsbury's with Urmston, and reported back favourably with one exception the assistant in fresh produce who told him to use a polythene bag for mushrooms instead of taking the trouble to fetch more paper bags.
Asda in Dunstable was unable to provide three items and was very busy, as a result of a bomb scare elsewhere in the town. While most staff were helpful, our shopper noted that the checkout assistant forgot to ask for the car park ticket, which is usually refunded.
At Tesco in High Wycombe, red peppers and steak & kidney pie were out of stock. However the store was clean and staff were friendly, although no help was offered with the packing.
Winner: Chris Mills, Morrisons, Cowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne
Who is your biggest competitor? Tesco Extra. It is a massive store that takes about £2m a week but we have a lot here that stands up to it because our Market Street is second to none.
Which product is selling particularly well at the moment? Our own-label hot cross buns from the fresh bakery are filling the store with the aroma of spices, so they are doing very well. They are 69p a pack or two for £1 and we're selling 1,000 a week at the moment. We'll be selling 4,000 to 5,000 in the week leading up to Easter.
What would you like to improve about your store? The store is 25,000 sq ft, and although we've got a full Market Street with bakery, fresh fish, fresh meat, florist, cake shop and deli, it would be nice to have a bigger store and bigger car park as we are on the outskirts of Newcastle and attract mainly big trolley shoppers. However, there isn't room for an extension.
What do you do to socialise with staff? We have four or five events a year and because all of the store is a team they are actively encouraged. This Sunday all of the colleagues are getting together for a night out with a hypnotist. I think I will be looking on rather than volunteering...
At Christmas all the managers dressed up in The Wizard of Oz costumes and served Christmas lunch to the colleagues. I found myself being the scarecrow and the 6ft 6in deputy manager was the lion and it went down really well.
Do you do any charity work at the store? As a company we support Cancer Research and we've raised more than £1.5m. Staff raise money through different events and getting sponsored for marathon running.
What are you doing about waste? The company started encouraging us to look at our production planning. If we get our production right in-store it ensures we are not adding to the problem. It means we are producing the right volumes and we meet the needs of the customer without excessive waste. It has been running now for about a year and I would say we have managed to cut down on waste about 12% without affecting availability. It is about working in a smarter way.