Who we visited
budgens Tolworth, Surrey
co-op Combs Ford, Stowmarket
One stop Highbridge, Somerset
Spar Uphall Station, West Lothian
TESCO Express Stockport, Greater Manchester
How they performed
The compact Budgens store on Ewell Road, Tolworth, provided our shopper with every item on the list and also sold the cheapest Coca-Cola. It was well laid out and the shelves were fully stocked and attractively presented. The staff were keen to help our shopper locate the items on the list.
The Co-op on Combs Road, near Stowmarket, is a well-maintained and neatly organised shop with excellent availability. The Weetabix was on offer - a 36-pack for the price of a normal 24-biscuit box. The staff were professional and there was not a packing trolley in sight. Although 6-packs of unsmoked bacon were not sold, 8-packs were available - with a double pack for £3.50.
The bright and welcoming One Stop in the small Somerset town of Highbridge was well-merchandised and the two staff members present were chatty and good-natured. However, the fruit and vegetable section was looking depleted and no effort had been made to face up the milk section. Coca-Cola was on offer at two bottles for £2.30.
The run of good reviews continues with the Spar on Pumpherston Road, Uphall Station. Our shopper said that products were easy to locate, the display shelves were well-presented and the store was clean and tidy. The checkout assistant greeted our shopper and packed her bags without being asked.
After a strong start, our Tesco shopper was beginning to feel a little disappointed. The store was clean, well-merchandised and free of shelf-stackers, but the checkout assistant neglected to say hello or make eye contact. But all was well in the end when she said "OK darling" to him.