Spectrum Photography Dundee (1)

Source: Spectrum Photography Dundee

Sainsbury’s was also ‘extremely clean’ and spacious with helpful signage

It’s the second week of the Grocer 33 year, and a second win on service and availability for Sainsbury’s, which is fighting back after taking third place last year.

The Dundee store scored 81 points with the only full basket of the week. All 33 items in our ethical shop, which featured B Corp, Fairtrade and free-range lines, were available.

Our shopper’s first impressions of the out-of-town store was that it was “extremely clean” and spacious with plenty of staff on the shop floor. There was a spill in the baby aisle but this was cordoned off and being cleared up.

Our shopper had some trouble finding items she would not normally buy, such as baby food and petfood, but the store signage was easy to read and helpful in finding the products.

Our shopper had to find staff twice to help with accessing high shelves, and on both times they were helpful.

On another occasion, our shopper was directed to customer services: the staff there were excellent, looking up two products and providing location by aisle and shelf.

When it came to pay, only two manned checkouts were open, but this was sufficient as most shoppers were using the self-service checkouts. The assistant seemed “shy” and didn’t make conversation, but did not rush our shopper.

Second-placed Asda Clapham came close behind in a high-scoring week all round. The store racked up 78 points, earning praise for its “immaculate condition” with very clean floors and shelving units.

The store layout was excellent: both the product ranges and individual items were easy to find. Plus, aisles were wide and easy to access.

There were lots of staff visible in the store, all working hard and in clean, pressed uniforms with name badges. They were happy to interact with customers and answer questions – our shopper noted they all knew the answers for the areas in which they were working.

Stock levels were excellent and there were no gaps. Just one item, Rodda’s clotted cream, was out of stock. Four items were not stocked, including the Activia and Pukka tea.

Finally, there was a four to five-minute wait to pay – however, a staff member noticed a queue building and opened a new checkout.

Tesco Liverpool Park Road was next up with 69 points. Service was excellent: every member of staff our shopper asked was helpful in locating an item, either checking their devices or the stock room.

The store was also praised for being light and airy, and easy to navigate.

Waitrose Solihull came fourth with 63 points. Staff were helpful, taking our shopper to items and showing good knowledge of stock availability.

However, the general level of stock was very low, and shelves looked sparse, which our shopper found “off-putting”. The lack of stock was reflected in the low availability score, driven by  four out-of-stock items.

Finally, Morrisons Aylesbury brought up the rear with 58 points. The store was neat and tidy, but the tall shelves gave our shopper a sense of claustrophobia.

There were not a lot of staff on the shop floor, so our shopper had to go several aisles to find someone, and staff did not always know where items were.

Availability was very poor and there was not much restocking taking place.

In total, five items on our list were out of stock, including the eggs and Maltesers, and one line was not stocked.