Staff at the Sheffield store happily chatted as they took our shopper to the items she could not find and there were plenty of special offers on Valentine's Day gifts and pancake ingredients.
The service levels at Tesco in Brockworth, Gloucester, conversely, were not up-to-scratch. One assistant, who our shopper described as "sleepy", thought it appropriate to say he was "ready to go home" when she asked him where to find the Total yoghurt. There were also abandoned trolleys in the car park.
At Morrisons in Tamworth, there were no stray trolleys, thanks to a £1 coin-operated system. However, our shopper was unable to buy fruit scones or Toblerone, and the eggs were in such short supply that our shopper had to root around in the remaining boxes to find six that were unbroken.
At Asda in Parkhead, Glasgow, the store looked well presented with few gaps on the shelves. The Highland Spring water and the courgettes were out of stock, but staff were friendly and Linda the checkout assistant offered to pack our shopper's bags.
Spilt sugar and other dirty marks on the floor made the Sainsbury's store at Newhaven look untidy. However, staff guided our shopper to items and the checkout assistant was pleasant.
Winner: Tracey Steele, store manager, Waitrose, Sheffield
How does your location affect the way you run the store? We are in a city centre location so we compete with everyone. There is a small Sainsbury's across the road, and an M&S and Tesco convenience store very nearby too. We have a lot of footfall late into the evening, so we are open until 9pm. We also have a lot of students and a big lunchtime trade. However, customers will travel from a really wide catchment area up to 30 miles away and we are a Food Plus store with a full assortment, so we cater for everyone, whether they want a pint of milk or a full shop and an ironing board.
Would you like to improve the store in any way? We are a purpose-built store, which opened in 2005, so there isn't much I would change, apart from having more non-food. Doing that would involve making better use of the space we have. I think that is where the biggest opportunity lies. I'd like more home products, such as furnishings, as well as some bed and bath ranges.
How is the tie-up with Boots progressing? We have a Boots pharmacy in the branch, which was rebranded from a Moss pharmacy two months ago. It sells all their ranges, including No 7 cosmetics. It is working really well, and trade has picked up. I don't know when Boots will start selling Waitrose products, though.
What do you do to socialise with staff outside work? Apart from taking partners to the Waitrose agm, we do all sorts of events outside work. We have had nights at the dogs, and some of the partners go line dancing although I'm not into it!
What fundraising work do you do for charity? We do a lot for charity through our Community Matters scheme. Each customer gets a token and they vote for one of three local charities each month to determine what share of £1,000 they will get. We get a lot of requests from partners, such as the cancer unit at Weston Park Hospital, where one of them was treated. This month's charities include United Initiative, which is run by Sheffield United football club, and is about encouraging children to eat healthily at school.