The checkout staff were equally friendly, and volunteered to pack her bags.
Sainsbury's in Buckinghamshire was also commended on its overall service, but our shopper had to query the price of a Kellogg's Squares bar (a personal purchase)marked as £1 on the shelf and £1.72 at the till. The store was also out of tinned sweetcorn, but an assistant quickly found out when the next delivery would be.
Our Asda shopper was less impressed. While efficient, the assistants made no attempt to chat or escort our shopper to the chilled section. The store was out of the coffee but shelves were otherwise well stocked.
Excellent presentation at Waitrose in Wilmslow offset the absence of mushrooms, Radox and chicken steaks. None of the staff were wearing name badges, and our shopper was told this was because of recurring incidents where assistants had been identified outside of work.
Naan bread and seedless grapes were out of stock at Morrisons in Solihull, representative of low availability in the bakery and a depleted fresh produce section. A helpful parking attendant gave our cashless shopper £1 for trolley use.
Winner: Steve Forbes, store manager, Tesco, West Lothian
What products are selling particularly well at the moment? Our 'two cereals for £2' offer, half-price ready meals and bogofs on own-label and Müller low-fat yogurts have helped us capitalise on the demand for healthy eating. Fresh produce sales are up 5% year-on-year and we're just about to start a new phase of training.
I want every member of staff to be able to carry out detailed product checks three times a day. It's crucial for them to have the autonomy to remove or replenish without having the say-so from above.
Have you had any management headaches? Reducing back-room stockholding is an ongoing challenge and we're constantly getting new targets. Head office would obviously love us to achieve the 100% utopia, but 70% is considered the achievable goal. So far we've cut back by 60%, which has really helped to alleviate the pressure on our guys on the night shift.
Who is your biggest rival and how do you compete? Asda. It's five miles away and double the size of us at 100,000 sq ft. Our entire store would fit into their non-food section, so we're not the consumers' first option when it comes to a new wardrobe or item of homeware.
We're working on increasing our clothing range and expanding the electricals side of the business to change this thinking. We have five times more merchandising space dedicated to televisions than we did this time last year and are looking at other ways to promote our offering.
Do you have plans to expand? We'll have an optician and phone shop from 6 April coinciding with a complete refit scheduled to start in a couple of weeks. Everything and everyone will benefit from the makeover; from new trolleys in the car park to better fittings in the fresh food section.
It's the first proper overhaul we've had in the past five years and is part of a wider marketing strategy to become a one-stop-shop. It will make a big difference to consumers' perception of the store. The major retailers differ very little in product choice so shoppers automatically look to merchandise, availabilty and service. We're all very excited about improving every aspect.