Tesco has picked up its second store of the week award in three weeks thanks to excellent customer service, strong availability and solid store standards at its County Lane, Bracknell branch.
Our mystery shopper visited on a busy Sunday afternoon and though there was a short queue to enter the store, it was managed efficiently thanks to a traffic light system. There was also a marshal on hand offering hand sanitiser.
Once inside, our shopper was impressed by the “well-ordered and tempting” seasonal Easter egg displays.
The store had wide aisles and, while there was restocking in progress, the trolleys did not cause any obstructions.
Most products were generally easy to find but staff were on hand to help our shopper, who received excellent assistance on two occasions.
She would have picked up a full basket but for the Carte D’Or ice cream being out of stock.
Morrisons Cwmbran came a close second this week, just two points behind Tesco. Our shopper got a great first impression due to the well-maintained carpark, trolley sanitising station with clear instructions and an outdoor laundrette situated near the entrance.
Once inside, there were a few gaps dotted around the store with plenty of restocking in progress, though some trolleys with empty cardboard packaging had been left unattended.
Our shopper found the store generally easy to navigate but she did need to call in staff for assistance on a number of occasions. These interactions ranged from the excellent, with one knowledgeable member of the team really selling an alternative option to the product she couldn’t find, to another simply admitting “I don’t have a clue” as to whether the store had any beetroot salad.
Overall availability was strong, with just one out-of-stock and one not-stocked line.
Availability was more of a challenge for Waitrose in Reading, which took third spot. Our shopper picked up 30 products, with two out of stock and one not stocked.
There were a few empty shelves overall and also our shopper spotted plenty of restocking in progress, but this did not cause any obstructions.
Staff were “very helpful and polite” – in particular the checkout operator who, after our shopper noticed a bad spot on the aubergine, quickly called her manager and replaced it with another.
There was a big gap between Waitrose and fourth-placed Sainsbury’s, whose Sutton store had six products out of stock as well as one not-stocked item.
Our shopper’s encounters with staff were mixed, with one very helpful team member taking her to the missing yoghurt while two others simply pointed to where she needed to go.
In last place was Asda Park Royal. Our shopper’s visit started with a five-minute search for a parking space and didn’t get much better. On entering the store she described the hand sanitiser station as messy, while the Easter promotional displays made the entrance seem packed and cluttered. This continued throughout the store, which our shopper described as “claustrophobic”.
Availability was poor, with seven out-of-stock items, and staff failed to cover themselves in glory. None of the staff our shopper asked for help took her to the required item, some told her items would be on one of two aisles, while another directed her to aisle 19 for the free-from fusilli, which she then found herself on aisle 20. This all added up to just 36 points.
This week’s results:
|WEEK 40: Sunday, 28/03/2021 (1:00pm - 3:00pm)||WINNER|
|Location||Park Royal, London||Cwmbran||Sutton||Bracknell||Reading|
|Car Park (10)||5||10||7||9||7|
|Car park management (3)||1||3||3||2||2|
|Queueing time to park and finding a parking space (2)||0||2||2||2||2|
|Exiting the car park (2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|After exiting your car please rate your experience before entering the store? (3)||2||3||0||3||1|
|Feedback||Car park was very busy so took approx 5 min to find parking||The car park was well maintained with a garden centre external to the store. There were sanitising stations for you to wipe your own trolleys with clear instructions on how to use. The car park perimeter was well maintained with greenery. There was an outside laundrette next to the cash points to the left of the entrance||Signposted and easy to find||The car park is quite large but it wasnt obviously clear where the entrance to the store was but then I saw a queue of people to get into the store. The car park was busy but still lots of free spaces||1 man stood near entrance, on entrance I saw no navigation system but on leaving I saw an entry/exit sign stuck to a post but facing towards the store. No sanitising station that I saw.|
|Store standards (20)||9||16||6||15||12|
|First impression (6)||0||6||2||4||4|
|Fruit & vegetables section (3)||2||1||1||2||2|
|Store standards - remaining sections (3)||2||2||1||2||1|
|Feedback||Store seems very packed and cluttered. Too many promotional items at the entrance to the store. Sanitiser stations were messy||There were several areas where there were empty sections and generally there were more than average numbers of trolleys stacked with cardboard. Several were in areas where there were no staff restocking . There were several of the deli sections that were empty which I thought odd for a weekend.||Overall it felt like the store was restocking at the time I was there. I could see plenty of stocking trollies and some shelves were empty.||The store was clean and well organised. There was a lady at the entrance offering sanitiser to every customer and there was a traffic light system to get into the store so I had to queue for 2-3 minutes to get in. There were plenty of shelves fully stocked with Easter Eggs which looked tempting and were well ordered and stocked. The aisles were wide enough that restocking trolleys didnt cause obstruction||In foyer-tidy, bright with lovely flower stall. Easter egg on shelves immediately inside the store. No promotional displays that drew you in, just products on a shelf. All stock trollers placed so you could manoeuvre round them and access shelves.|
|Store layout and services (10)||4||7||4||5||5|
|Did the store layout seem logical and intuitive? (4)||1||4||3||4||4|
|Available services (6)||3||3||1||1||1|
|Feedback||I feel that the floor space was not enough so make the selling of clothes and food on the same floor feel very claustrophobic||There were some great counters and to go sections such as pizza, cheese, meat and fish but there were 2 entirely empty sections and one to go fridge was empty||Pleasant experience overall, store layout made sense.||I found the items fairly easily as the store isnt too big. The chilled section is at the back of the shop which is unusual as it is usually near the front after the fruit and veg. There was a small fish and meat counter open but no fresh hot food/deli food. The aisles were well signposted||Usual store layout, with everything following on as you would expect. Counters set nicely alongside each other, all clean tidy and stocked.|
|Shop Floor Service (20)||9||18||12||20||20|
|Finding a member of staff (5)||1||5||3||5||5|
|Shop floor staff helpfulness in locating items (5)||2||4||3||5||5|
|Shop floor staff diligence and hard work in replenishing shelves and picking in-store orders (5)||3||5||3||5||5|
|Staff presentation (5)||3||4||3||5||5|
|Feedback||None of the staff offered to show me to an item I had asked for but chose to point out which aisle the believed the product to be. When I was looking for the easter egg I was told that it could be found at either Ailse 3 or 4. I found it on 4. The same happended when I was directed to aisle 19 for Free from Fusilli pasta. I found it on 20||I spoke to several members of staff. The Youngs Scampi section was empty so I asked a team member if they had any. While he was looking another team member suggested that one of the alternatives was really great. I found this really helpful and would have gone for this had I not had to buy the Youngs version which was found out the back. Another chap showed me where the Corona was and let me know if I wanted a bigger pack they were at the aisle end. Another team member showed me where the yoghurt was when I couldn’t find that. The same chap told me where the beetroot salad was to be found, but didn’t take me there. I couldn’t see the New York Sesame bagels or a label for them so asked a team member for these. He went out the back then came back letting me know that everything was out. Later I asked another team member who appeared to be shopping for click and collect if they actually stocked it and she said no, not if they didn’t have a label (they didn’t). Another team member showed me where the aubergine was. The only disappointing interaction was when I asked the chap on the butcher if they had any beetroot salad and he said, “I don’t have a clue”. Overall I found the staff very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable.||I asked for help a couple of times, a staff member named Jack was helpful and help me locate the yogurt, I asked a couple of other members of staff for help but they simply pointed me to another direction, could not get their names as no name badge was visible.||I couldnt find the Berocca so I asked the lady on the pharmacy who pointed me in the right direction and I couldnt find the aubergine so I asked a member of staff who was stocking bananas and he came and showed me where they were||All 3 floor staff I spoke to were very helpful and polite. All staff looked presentable.|
|Tills and checkouts (20)||9||16||12||18||18|
|Rate how well managed were the queues leading to the tills? Were a sufficient number of checkouts open for the volume of staff? Were staff on hand to advise on checkouts with shorter queues, or manage social distancing (5)||3||4||3||5||4|
|How long did you have to queue? (5)||0||3||5||5||5|
|Please rate checkout staff on their customer service (8)||4||7||2||6||7|
|Was the till receipt free of mistakes? (2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Feedback||The tills moved quickly. I did not see anyone directing customers to shorter queues||The chap on the till, Curtis, was great. He was friendly, efficient, professional and made a perfect end to the shop, making me feel welcome, with his relaxed, easy, but brief conversation. There were only a few things said, but his manner was great.||Good experience, no negatives.||I was just about to queue up when a member of staff showed me to an empty till which I thought was very helpful||There was a manager who stood by the tills, when he noticed that I was looking for an empty till he did move toward me but I found a checkout before needing assistance. Checkout operator was very friendly, when I noticed the aubergine had a bad spot on it, she called manager to exchange it for me.|
|Availability score (20)||0||14||0||16||10|
|Of the 33 items on your shopping list how many were:|
|Available (up to 20)||25||31||26||32||30|
|Out of stock (-4 per item)||7||1||6||1||2|
|Not stocked (-2 per item)||1||1||1||0||1|
|Number of items bought||25||31||26||32||30|
|Please note down the items on your shopping list that were out of stock (please highlight the products that have managed to get a satisfactory substitutions)||Product 1: Berocca Effevescent Tablets orange
Product 2: Cadbury Creme Egg Easter Egg 138g
Product 3: Nescafe Gold Blend 200g
Product 4: New York Bakery company Sesame seed bagels 5 ea
Product 5: Own label Antipasti Grilled Artichokes 280-290g
Product 6: Own label Beetroot Salad
Product 7: Own label Aubergine
|Product 1: Beetroot salad||Product 1: Own Label Single Cream 300ml
Product 2: Berocca Effervescent Tablets Orange 45ea
Product 3: Own Label Antipasti Grilled Artichokes 280-290G 290g
Product 4: Own Label Cherries Punnet 180-250g 250g
Product 5: Philadelphia Light 340g
Product 6: Youngs Scampi 220g
|Product 1: Carte D’or Light Vanilla Ice Cream||Product 1: Antipasti grilled artichokes 290g
Product 2: Double concentrated tomato purée tube 200g
|Please note down the items on your shopping list that were not stocked (please highlight the products that have managed to get a satisfactory substitutions)||Product 1: Own label Antipasti grilled artichokes||Number 1: New York Sesame Bagels||Product 1: Own Label Beetroot Salad 225-305 305g||N/A||Product 1: Twinnings Assam tea bags x80|
|Please give any other details or info about your shopping trip, good or bad||Hand sanitizer stations were very messy. One bag of rubbish left next to the station as I was going into the store but the time I left there were 2 bags next to the stations. It was an eyesore. Most shelves were fully packed. Shelves were being stocked by staff in various aisles however it was fairly hard to fond someone to ask if I could not find a product.||There were a mass of Easter Eggs in the foyer and entrance ready for Easter. On leaving, there were many click and collect baskets in a corridor which looked messy. Overall, this was a good shop in a store with many extra services to offer aside from just food.||Pleasant experience, as mentioned before a few items were out of stock and quite alot of filling was taking place during that time.||I substituted the Light Vanilla Ice Cream for the normal vanilla ice cream. This store was easy to navigate and the shop was quite quick as the aisles seemed logical and were well signposted. Staff were helpful||Asked about all 3 missing products, the twinnings Assam only came in a large box or own label so I substituted with twinnings Earl grey. The tomato purée shelf was completely empty assistant said they didn’t have any and there wouldn’t be any in stock room or it would be out. Overall a very nice shopping trip, nice bright store, clean, staff polite and presentable. Some shelves were on occasion empty but there were plenty of stock trollers out and shelves being restocked.|
|TOTAL SCORE (100)||36||81||41||83||72|