The Stirling store was very clean and there were no gaps on the shelves. Staff were helpful and polite, leading our shopper to the item he asked for help to find. The store did not stock lamb mince in 500g packs, but did carry other sizes. Ski Tropical yoghurts were also not stocked.
Hovis Seed Sensations was out of stock in Morrisons, and Knorr Ragu Traditional was not stocked. Price labels were missing from a large section of the vegetable area, and from the honey roast ham and eggs. The first fish fingers pack our shopper picked up was damaged.
Asda in Burton upon Trent was untidy in places with empty shelves and low stock in the fruit & veg and frozen areas. Most staff were attentive and friendly, but when our shopper asked if there were any more cauliflower, the member of staff said she would check but never came back.
A "sullen" checkout assistant served our shopper in Sainsbury's Aberdeen. Kettle Chips and own-label beef lasagne were out of stock and a further four items were not stocked. The store was clean but looked untidy because a lot of stock was being unpacked on the shop floor.
Waitrose in Holsworthy had three items out of stock and four not stocked. The staff were helpful in this small store and apologetic when products were not available.
Winner: Jim Gordon, store manager, Tesco, Stirling
How long have you worked for Tesco? I started in 1981 and have worked in 20 different stores. The way we do things in terms of looking after customers and staff has changed over the years.
It's a very challenging time for every company at the moment we need to do our best to look after our staff to get them to want to help us serve the customer really well.
How have you improved customer service in-store? The managers moved our computers and support material downstairs about three months ago. It saved me an enormous amount of time travelling back to the office and you see more of what's happening. We have a lot of tourists in the summer who aren't familiar with the store. It's great that we can have a chat, find out where they're from and actually help them.
What new ranges have you introduced recently? We've significantly increased counter space. The number of fish lines has increased 50% and there are new ranges in the meat and deli counters too. In the past couple of weeks we've had numerous new fruit and vegetable lines in for the summer.
What regional products do you sell? We always take the Scottish equivalent product where we can. We're trying to get the counter to a full Scottish range in meat.
What impact did the hot weather have on sales last week? The weekend was very challenging. Obviously when you do get sunshine you get a lift in sales. Barbecues, fruit & vegetables, ice cream, and wine & spirits did particularly well, and we did fantastically well on beers. A 3-for-£20 on beer started on Monday and has had a good reception so far.
What events have you got coming up at your branch? CLIC Sargent will be in the front of the store for two days and on Wednesday the store managers from my regional group are doing a sponsored mountain bike ride. The Race for Life is coming up next month as well.
Roughly 35 staff do it every year and meet at the event. We're also going to the careers fair in the local high school to tell them that a career in retail offers them more these days than they realise.