Wall's Thick Pork Sausages were not stocked, but otherwise shelves were full.
Asda in Almondvale narrowly missed the title. It did not stock the Wall's sausages either and stock was also running low around the store. However, a checkout assistant called Michaela got a special mention for recommending a new local restaurant to our shopper.
The sausages were one of two not-stocked items at Sainsbury's in Luton, the other being Robertson's Golden Shred Marmalade. There were also noticeable gaps in the frozen food section and homeware aisles. While staff were polite, our shopper said only two were offering assistance on the shop floor during his entire 80-minute visit.
Service was mixed at the Morrisons in Chalk Farm; queues were typically seven shoppers long and no extra tills were being opened to cope with the congestion, but a hands-on manager did impress our shopper by personally escorting her to find the marmalade.
At Tesco in Loudwater, medium avocado was not stocked, but our shopper enjoyed sample pots of Müller Bio yoghurt on offer outside the entrance of the store.
Winner: Ashley Gaunt, branch manager, Waitrose, Cheadle Hulme
How has the warm weather affected business? The weekend was just phenomenal. Out came the sun and up went our footfall. The 200-space car park was full and both staff and customers were in a great mood. Our barbecue promotions went down a treat, with 33% off our Aberdeen Angus Beef Burgers proving particularly popular. Wine recommended by Heston in last Thursday's TV ad also outsold the rest of the category at a rate of 2:1.
So there's no sign of Delia and Heston-inspired interest slowing since their debut on 25 March? On the contrary. As more people talk about the success of a recipe they made at the weekend, friends and family are tempted to follow suit. I've seen customers stand and talk about our recipe cards (both old and new), tips and ingredients for as long as 20 minutes in the middle of an aisle. The campaign seems to have captured everyone's imagination and I see that enthusiasm increasing rather than dwindling in the coming months.
What do you think could help your branch build on this momentum? A coffee shop. It would be the icing on the cake. If people had somewhere they could sit down to share and compare their cooking stories, or just arrange to meet for catch up, I think sales would snowball. The amount of time shoppers are now spending browsing the shelves shows their aim is not always to be in and out as fast as possible. Why not capitalise on this? We have the space and it would be fantastically well-received.
Are there any other changes already in the pipeline? Waitrose is trialling new uniforms and name badges that we expect to be rolled out nationally later on in the year. I'm not sure what the reaction will be in terms of style, but the majority of our customers are on first-name terms with the staff already; 72 out of the 150-strong team have been here since we opened two years ago and have excellent relationships with our regulars.
Last month you introduced 54 new Quick Check handsets. What's the response? Customers are thrilled. They can now scan their own items as they shop and pay at dedicated Quick Check tills. Feedback shows the system is reducing shopping time by up to 50%.