Helen Gregory
It's official - a new survey proves Wal-Mart's little brother is the UK's favourite store for range, price, service and availability.
The survey by ACNielsen Homescan quizzed consumers about where they liked to shop. Most picked Asda. Tesco and Sainsbury came in second and third respectively.
Asda dominated the north of the country, coming top in six of the 10 regions - Scotland, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees, Wales and the Midlands - while Tesco was voted best in the more densely populated southern regions except in London where Sainsbury topped the bill.
Shoppers evidently love EDLP and Asda's work with Rollback. Its work to improve customer service has also paid off.
Asda chief operating officer Tony DeNunzio said he was delighted that customers liked what they found at Asda - "prices that keep getting lower, service that gets better and better, ranges and quality that improve all the time".
And he called it a real recognition for the hard work of Asda's staff.
DeNunzio added: "But while we're pleased, we're not in any way complacent - we'll be redoubling our efforts to give shoppers every reason to name us their top store next year too."
For the second year running, shoppers reckoned Marks and Spencer stocked the best quality food, and it finished just outside the top three overall.
Morrisons came a respectable fifth place ahead of Safeway.
Somerfield came last. But at least its Kwik Save subsidiary got an honourable mention in the survey by taking the third spot for price.
Asda did well when consumers who did their main shop there were asked to score it compared to the other chains. Asda shoppers scored Asda as the best retailer at a significantly higher level than Tesco regulars scored their local Tesco store - possibly due to the fact that Tesco has a variety of fascias and therefore might present a less consistent offer.
And shoppers' views on those retailers they did not visit was enlightening -- non-Asda and non-M&S shoppers had better perceptions of those stores than any others.
At the other end of the scale, those who did not shop in Kwik Save, Co-op, Waitrose, Safeway and Somerfield all liked these stores least.
>> Britain's favourite, p34

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