Cost cutter Eden Street, Kingston-upon-Thames
Budgens Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol
Mace Monkstown Road, Newtownabbey, Belfast
Co-op Group High Road, South Benfleet, Essex
Tesco express, Western Road, Hove
How they performed
Shelf-edge labelling was a contentious issue for this week's mystery shoppers, who also struggled to track down a six-rasher pack of bacon, with all but one of the stores visited either being out of stock or not selling it.
Mace's large petrol forecout store in Belfast was the only place that a six-rasher pack of bacon could be found. This store performed admirably in terms of availability, providing all ten items on our shopping list, the only retailer to do so this week. While the store offered considerably cheaper bread, butter and Tetley tea than any of the other stores, it was quite a bit more expensive for a can of baked beans, Weetabix and some Whiskas catfood. Our shopper had quite a bit of bother noting down prices as shelf-edge labelling was so old and worn it was barely legible.
With nine items, the Costcutter was second best for availability. It did not stock bacon and shelf-edge pricing was missing. Our shoppers had to ask assistants to tell her the prices of nearly all the products on the list and did not get an itemised receipt.
Budgens' Bristol store was out of stock of butter when our shopper visited. It did not stock bacon or Tetley tea bags. There were a number of gaps on shelves and no shelf-edge price for a Mars bar. The store had the cheapest price for a pack of Weetabix.
Tesco Express in Hove provided the cheapest baked bean price at 49p, although the store was running low on stocks, particularly of soft drinks. She took the last bottle of Coca-Cola.
The Co-operative Group's High Road store in South Benfleet only provided eight items. It was out of stock of bacon and did not stock Whiskas catfood.