Who we visited

Premier Stowmarket, Suffolk

Co-op Group Woodhatch, Surrey

McColl's Rotherham

somerfield Springburn Centre, Glasgow

tesco express Chelmsford, Essex

How they performed

The newly decorated Premier store in Stowmarket was well presented and tidy. What the small store lacked in choice it made up for with clear labels and good shelf displays. Staff were efficient and extremely willing to help. The checkout assistant spotted that the 100% extra free in the box of Weetabix had not been packaged and advised our shopper to pick up a different box.

In contrast to the Premier store, the Co-op in Woodhatch, Reigate, looked tired and in need of a facelift. There were notable gaps on the shelves in both the fruit and veg and meat sections and Tetley tea bags were out of stock in the desired size. The sole member of staff was bubbly and chatty, not to mention eccentric, and stopped halfway through serving our shopper to relieve a back itch on the edge of the tobacco display.

Until three weeks ago, the McColls in Broom Valley Road, Rotherham, was a Sainsbury's Local and was still in the process of rebranding when our shopper visited. The store was tidy and well merchandised with notable promotions on Mars bars (3 for £1) and bacon (10 rashers for the price of eight).

Our shopper was impressed with the cleanliness and general sense of order in the Somerfield store in the busy Springburn Centre in Glasgow. The store provided a full list with a 2 for 1 offer on Coca Cola.

Some attractive deals were on offer at the Tesco Express on Broomfield Road, Chelmsford including 100% extra free on Tetley tea bags and 2 for £2 on Weetabix. Shelf displays, however, were unenticing while staff were aloof and seemed put out when asked for help with finding the butter.