Our shopper was impressed at how they juggled stocking shelves with helping customers find their way around the store. Availability was solid as well. Four-pack blueberry muffins were out of stock, but two-packs were available and although single own-brand pasties were not stocked, four-packs were on sale.
Sainsbury's four-pack blueberry muffins were also out of stock. However our shopper noted "lots of shelf-filling". The cashier did not offer to help pack bags, as girls visiting from a local judo club were assisting that day.
Samples of buttered hot cross buns and breaded fish pleased our shopper at Asda's Watford store, but it was let down by a gappy fresh produce section, with loose new potatoes not stocked.
Shelves at Waitrose were "depleted" but the store was "exceptionally tidy". Five products were out of stock and our shopper noted empty spaces in the fresh produce section and bakery. The hot food counter was completely empty as was the herb display.
Our shopper was 'ignored' at the checkout in Tesco, while assistants gossiped about Coronation Street: "You wouldn't get this in M&S," complained our shopper. Tea was out of stock and chips were not stocked.
Winner: Mark Morris, store general manager, Morrisons, Bude
You initially thought winning the G33 was a 'wind-up'. How much did staff struggle on Good Friday? Ha! The store was mayhem. We had to accommodate 60% more customers than a typical trading Friday and every other shopper was new to the store so needed assistance.
We had 50% of our total available staff force on the shop floor, including all four senior managers on duty that day. We're always on hand to offer support, but this was a case of flat-out shelf-stacking. Constantly replenishing stock, while being interrupted every minute and smiling throughout the madness is no mean feat. So, yes, I was surprised.
What sold particularly well? Wines sold under our national 'better than half price' banner were a huge success, as were our 20%-30% reductions on selected bottles. Our eight branded beer lines with 'three packs for £18' deals also walked out of the store, spurred on by enthusiasts of a nearby wine festival keen to continue the celebrations.
How much surplus stock do you have left over from the weekend? None. As a seasonal store we monitor what we need on a daily basis and are closely supported by the allocation team. Managing a mix of tourist and local trade is not an exact science, but this time we got it absolutely spot on.
What's the mood since Dalton Philips joined last week? Excitement; because he's a retailer first and a marketeer second, whereas Bolland was the other way around. Intrigue; because he's alluded to plans to branch into smaller multiple formats.
Respect; because he gave all the staff his mobile number at Morrisons' annual conference last month and invited everyone to call him with their ideas. It was the first time he addressed the staff and he struck quite a chord. We've got a poster of him in our branch canteen.
Expansion plans in the pipeline? We're all expecting some changes following Philips' first 100 days at the helm, but for now we're still getting used to the 4,000 sq ft shop extension that finished in June 2009.
The extra room allowed us to double the selling space of our fish counter and fresh produce section. I think there's still scope for stocking more non-food items, especially clothes, but we shall see what happens...