Sainsbury's Interior

New mystery shopper tests will reduce Sainsbury’s food wastage

New mystery shopping tests have helped Sainsbury’s significantly improve its availability in the past year.

Sainsbury’s director of supply chain operations Karen Whitworth told last week’s IGD Supply Chain Summit the retailer was no longer looking simply to boost average availability but to reduce variations across its estate to deliver more consistent availability. Stores with poor availability upset shoppers while those with perfect availability were likely to generate too much waste, she said.

The retailer has now introduced two measures to track stock levels. The first uses data from its top 250 stores for online deliveries and monitors the retailer’s ability to meet the orders.

The second, called Mystery Availability Check (MAC), tests stores three times a day. Stores receive a gold medal for passing all three tests, a silver medal for two passes and bronze for one.

“We upped the targets and over delivered on them,” said Whitworth, claiming that availability had improved by 1% in the last year based on the first measure and 0.5% based on MAC data.