The store was bustling with Christmas shoppers, but the staff still managed to keep the shop floor tidy and the shelves full. The checkout assistant made conversation with our shopper and the receipt was free of mistakes.
Sainsbury's in Sprucefield had no out-of-stocks and the checkout assistant was friendly. However, packing trolleys congested the alcohol aisles where "oblivious" staff carried on chatting to each other rather than moving them.
There was a long queue at Waitrose in Saxmundham, but our shopper was pleased with her visit nonetheless. Staff around the aisles helped her find several items then asked her if there was anything else they could do.
A friendly assistant escorted our shopper to several items at Asda in Fosse Park and apologised for the items that were unavailable. The checkout assistant helped pack, even though our shopper said she did not need any assistance.
Our shopper queued for 15 minutes at Tesco Macclesfield, partly because another customer's bread was damaged and it took a while to replace it. He was impressed with staff in the aisles, however, who were "doing a grand job" keeping on top of the Christmas rush.
Winner: Peter Thorogood, store manager, Morrisons, Horndean
How have your customers' shopping habits changed this Christmas compared to last year? They seem to be stocking up on more goods earlier than before, though I think that's down to the different promotions we have offered over the past few weeks. We have been selling more items at buy one get two free this year compared with last, which has been well received now customers have had more time to get their heads around it. We have recently offered items such as Pepsi, Pringles and prawns under this offer.
What impact have your promotions had on the competition in your area? Customers are staying loyal to us. We are offering them £25 off a shop this Christmas when they spend £40 or more on five transactions over five weeks during the build-up to the festive period, which has kept many coming back. A Tesco Express has just opened in Havant and shoppers have been to have a look at what's on offer, but they use us for a bigger shop because they particularly like our fresh offer. There's also an Asda Walmart Supercentre in Havant but I think we compete well partly because of our bargain promotions.
So how is Market Street faring? It's done really well in my store because our customers want fresh food and have become more understanding of exactly what we offer. We are rolling out the Fresh Food Academy early next year, which means our butchers and other counter workers can earn qualifications.
What are your new year resolutions for the store? To be as successful as we can be. The store has had a really good year and I want to keep up the team's hard work. We launched a customer service initiative three months ago to ensure the staff go out of their way to talk to and help customers, and I'm confident it will help us achieve another great year.
Tell me about your recent extension. Last year we added another 6,000 sq ft to the store. We introduced a Techno Bar, which offers non-food items such as iPods and sat navs, and we also extended the café. If I could change one thing about the store I would extend it even further to offer larger ranges of both food and non-food, though there are no immediate plans to do so.