Morrisons 20201128_101704 (8)

Source: Mystery shopper

A full basket of 33 items helped Morrisons pick up its first service and availability award for six weeks.

Our shopper enjoyed her trip to the “bright” store in Deans, Livingston and was impressed by the “helpful and knowledgeable” staff, who were happy to share their product knowledge.

The team replenishing stock took care to keep trolleys to one side and adhered to social distancing. Its well-executed Covid-19 protocols made the shopper feel “totally relaxed” and gave her the impression Morrisons was making the effort to keep employees and customers safe.

There was no queue for the tills and she was happy to see the checkout operator cleaning between each customer.

Morrisons’ score of 94 was closely rivalled by Waitrose Daventry, which scored an impressive 91. The otherwise well-stocked store missed out on the top spot mainly due to just one out-of-stock line.

Our shopper welcomed the “calm atmosphere” and said the store “felt like a dream” compared with other retailers she had visited recently.

Partners “couldn’t have been more helpful” and created a “pleasurable” experience throughout. They stopped the work they were doing to help our shopper find items she needed and those replenishing stock made sure cages were pushed out of customers’ way.

Sainsbury’s Alder Hills, Poole branch was third with a clear entry and exit system, followed by hand sanitiser and antibacterial spray in its entrance and “plenty of room” to enter.

Staff picking for online and click & collect orders were careful to keep their distance, and those restocking shelves ensured cages, trolleys and packaging were pushed aside too. The team also gave our mystery shopper information about why the three items from her list weren’t available.

Tesco in Hednesford, Staffordshire had just one out-of-stock product and, though shelves looked full, employees were busy replenishing throughout our shopper’s visit. This led to restocking cages and packaging left in most aisles, making the shopfloor look “messy” and hard to navigate. The area near the top of its escalators was also “cluttered” due to its display of Christmas trees and special offers.

However, staff were “helpful” in answering her queries and the checkout operator was “very professional” while scanning products carefully and quickly.

Our shopper at Aldi Fallowfield in Manchester enjoyed a smooth start to his shop with no queue, plenty of neatly stacked trolleys available and a calm atmosphere.

He spotted special offers on gondola ends and was impressed with how clean and well maintained the shop was.

He was happy to see staff “busy filling shelves” but pallets caused a minor obstruction, making it difficult for customers to keep a safe distance.

There were also “a few gaps” in the chilled and frozen sections. Staff were focused on replenishing these areas and failed to escort our shopper to items he was looking for.

Asda in Paignton, Devon gave an inconsistent performance. Our mystery shopper found its décor “outdated” but called its ambience warm and welcoming.

It had the worst availability this week with four out-of-stock lines and three items not stocked, and staff struggled to fill gaps in the fruit and veg department despite efforts to do so quickly. Our mystery shopper praised the team for their friendliness, however.


This week’s results:

WEEK 25: Saturday, 28/11/2020 (8.00am - 11.00am) WINNER    
  Asda Morrisons Sainsbury’s Tesco Waitrose  Aldi
Location Paignton Carmondean Poole Hednesford Daventry Fallowfield
Date  28/11/2020 28/11/2020 28/11/2020 28/11/2020 28/11/2020 28/11/2020
Time slot  8.00am - 11.00am 8.00am - 11.00am 8.00am - 11.00am 8.00am - 11.00am 8.00am - 11.00am 8.00am - 11.00am
Shop starts 08:59 10:15am 08:10 10:35am 10:20am 10:00am
Visit Duration 00:55 00:49 01:15 01:02 01:01 01:10
Shop Duration 00:53 00:48 01:03 00:55 00:54 00:55
Car Park  (10) 9 10 10 10 8 7
Signposting (up to 1) 1 1 1 1 1 1
Queueing time to park (up to 2) 2 2 2 2 0 0
Trolleys (up to 2) 2 2 2 2 2 2
Queueing time from parking the car to enter the store (up to 3) 3 3 3 3 3 3
Feedback (up to 2)  1 2 2 2 2 1
  This is a really strange store. It is visible as you drive towards it as it is set down lower than the road but it doesn’t look like a retail store, it’s more like a warehouse. it looks tired and old from the outside and the car park is small with no discernible barriers in and out, only a small curb. There were large banners displaying COVID guidelines but no barriers at the entrance. Arrows and signs guided you towards the correct way to enter/leave. Sign asking for consideration to other shoppers and Security counting number of people entering and leaving the store. There was no queue to enter the car park or the store. Car park signage was clear from road alongside store. On entry to the car park there were clear signs directing Click & Collect shoppers to a designated area of car park. The car park was tidy and well-maintained. There were rows of neatly stacked trollies at the entrances and clear temporary signage to designate entry and exit doors. The car park was busy but it was easy to find a space. There were plenty of trolleys available. There was no queue to enter the store and there was a sanitising area at the bottom and top of the entrance escalator. The member of staff at the bottom of the escalator was counting customers in and gave me permission to go straight in. There were security guards on the door counting people in and out. I fortunately didn’t have to queue to get in but there were clearly marked lines along the side of the store for when you do have to queue two metres apart. There was hand sanitiser available on entry. As I approached the store, it was fairly quiet and there was no queue to enter. There were no barriers or staff assisting customers outside the store, however, there was a number of Covid-related stickers and signs in place. Above the main entrance, there was also an electronic queue management/traffic light system to notify customers when it was safe to enter the store.
Store standards (20) 19 19 17 13 19 16
First impression (up to 5)  4 5 5 1 4 3
Feedback  I had a feeling of deja-vu wash over me as i walked into Asda. I had done a mystery shop here last year before Christmas and the displays were the same as the previous year. Lots of chocolates and a huge stack of Christmas Eve boxes greet you when you enter. Although the store is outdated the staff and general ambience are really welcoming. I forgot to take a £1 coin for the trolley and Theresa at the kiosk very kindly gave me one to use. Well organised for keeping people safe. In the entrance foyer was a hand sanitiser and antibac spray station for shoppers and there was plenty of room for shoppers to enter. On entry to the store were neatly piled seasonal displays of beer, chocolates and Christmas jumpers although the beer boxes were stacked so high that they obscured the view of a much more attractive display of Christmas homeware behind. Two staff members here to greet customers. The top of the escalator was quite cluttered and felt crowded with displays of Christmas trees and special offers. My first impressions were space and calmness. After shopping at two different supermarket stores earlier in the week were I couldn’t wait to get out due to non-existent social distancing and what felt like over-crowding this felt like a dream. As I entered, the store was reasonably calm and ordered. By the entrance, there were hand sanitizers and trolley wipes available. The staff I noticed were mostly busy merchandising shelves and I did not notice any announcements other than calls for extra assistance at the tills.
Displays (up to 3)  3 3 2 2 3 3
Availability and replenishment (up to 5)  5 4 4 4 5 4
Feedback  There were a lot of staff in evidence stacking shelves, wiping shelves down and generally keeping the store as clear as possible for shoppers. The fresh fruit and veg sections were empty in places but it was clear that staff were replenishing as fast as they possibly could and it was all hands on deck as staff both in and out of uniform were assisting. Trolleys being used to replenish stock but care taken not to be in the way and inconvenience shoppers Although there were a couple of items on my list out of stock, on the whole the store was well stocked, tidy and well kept. Stock replenishment was being carried out in a number of aisles but trollies were placed neatly, staff members were careful to distance themselves and not cause an obstruction. The shelves were well stocked and there were a lot of staff actively restocking. The store looked untidy with product cages in most aisles, along with cages of empty packaging. The supermarket looked well stocked, neat and orderly. Relevant seasonal offers welcomed you as you walked in and at the end of the isles near the checkouts these also contained offers suitable for the time of the year. Staff were restocking in a number of isles but the cages were always pushed to the side next to a column with plenty of room to get past. Aside from a few gaps in the chilled and frozen sections, the store was generally very well stocked. Staff were busy filling shelves throughout my visit and, for the most part, kept a safe distance from customers.
Obstructions  (up to 3)  3 3 2 2 3 2
Spillages (up to 2)  2 2 2 2 2 2
Condition of the store in terms of cleanliness (up to 2)  2 2 2 2 2 2
Feedback The store is small but well lit, clean and feels genuinely warm and happy. Aisles are wide enough. Quite a nice bright store and staff very helpful and pleasant. The store was neat and tidy, there were many staff picking for Click & Collect orders but they were careful with distancing and did not cause any obstruction. Some aisles were difficult to navigate due to cages, staff members and customers. Most people beer polite and giving way to others and maintaining a safe distance. The store felt clean, fresh and tidy. The store was generally clean and well maintained. Staff were busy filling shelves in the frozen area and the pallets caused a minor obstruction which made it difficult for customers to maintain a safe distance.
Store layout (10) 5 8 8 4 10 6
Did the store layout seem logical and intuitive? (up to 2)  1 2 2 2 2 2
Was it easy to navigate the store while also feeling safe? (up to 6)  2 4 4 0 6 4
Did the store offered any Click & Collect services? (up to 2) 2 2 2 2 2 0
Shop Floor Service (20) 15 19 17 17 18 15
Product location (up to 5)  5 5 3 5 5 5
Staff politness/responsiveness (up to 5)  5 5 5 3 5 4
Feedback Staff were chatting with customers and all of them were happy to make eye contact, say good morning and interact with customers. All of them took me to where a product should be, helped and looked out the back or in their delivery boxes to see if they had the products. I asked Karl in F&V if he had aubergines and melon, they didn’t but he checked anyway. Then later, after the mystery shop I went back in for myself and Karl spotted me. he had found some aubergines and asked if i still wanted one. Debra and Anna also assisted me, took me to the relevant shelf and tried to help, even offering to check with her supervisor and put a call out for me if they did find some pork mince! Very helpful staff and knowledgeable about products too. Staff were very helpful in telling me where to find certain products and advising if some were out of stock. I did manage to find all the products but I still approached a couple of members of staff. A male member of staff with dark hair was very helpful when I asked about the pesto. He admitted that he didn’t know where it was but he helped me to look in the nearby area and we managed to find it. He was not wearing a name badge. The girl in the fruit section, Sam, was polite but when I asked if there were any more golden delicious apples she just said that if there were none out then they didn’t have any and went back to her work. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Early on in my shop, the apples looked to be oos as an empty space on the shelf. I couldn’t find anyone in the fruit and veg area to help so I asked a lady called Suzanne on the cheese and deli counter who actually left the counter and went out the back to check for me. She returned saying they were oos until later that day. She also explained that the newspapers had only just arrived so a number of staff had been deployed to sort these out and that the rest had been called to checkouts as it was busy. My second item that was oos was the toilet roll and when I queued to pay, there was no-one behind me in the queue. Lisa who served me on the till actually went out the back to find the toilet roll. She said luckily it was on one of the first cages she checked that was lined up to be restocked. When I asked staff members for assistance, they were reasonably helpful and friendly, however, they did not offer me any further assistance. When I asked a male staff member with fair hair where the mild and light olive oil was, he replied that it was not stocked. When I asked the same staff member where the Hovis white bread was, he answered that it was no longer stocked. When I asked a male staff member where the vanilla ice cream was, he helpfully checked the warehouse before returning with a case and offering me a tub.
Was it easy to find a member of staff (up to 3)  3 3 3 3 2 2
Were staff easy to identify through their uniform or name badges (up to 2)  0 2 2 2 2 2
Staff presentation (up to 5)  2 4 4 4 4 2
Feedback All staff had name badges on but the place where you write your name was not central on the badge so for every one of them it was a struggle to read their name. Staff were very aware of social distancing at all times when I asked for assistance. All staff were wearing masks but not gloves and all stood a comfortable distance away when talking. N/A The staff had facemasks on and some had gloves but all were very respectful of social distancing. The staff members were easily identifiable and well presented. Some staff wore gloves and/or face masks. They maintained a safe distance from me when I made my enquiries.
Tills and checkouts (20) 17 18 18 17 19 16
 How well managed were the queues leading up to the till-operated checkouts in terms of maintaining order and social distancing?  (up to 2)  2 2 2 2 2 1
How well managed were the queues leading up to the self-service checkouts in terms of maintaining order and social distancing? (Please observe after you’ve completed your shop, and include observations around attentiveness to customers requiring help due to flashing lights/unattended items in bagging area)  (up to 2)  2 2 2 1 2 1
 How long did it take to queue (prior to scanning) (up to 4)  4 4 4 4 4 4
Please rate checkout staff on their customer service and safety  (up to 7)  6 7 5 5 6 5
Time for G33 items to be scanned (including payment)  (up to 3)  3 3 3 3 3 3
 Was the till receipt free of mistakes?  (up to 2)  0 0 2 2 2 2
Feedback - please provide any further details/feedback on the tills and checkout: The till area felt spacious and clutter free which was a pleasure as a lot of the time theses days it feels like this area is used as additional storage. There were 5 tills and 3 were open, 7 self service and 3 in use. My lovely till lady made conversation and chatted with all her customers. She didn’t have gloves on because her wrist was in a brace. There was an isnaps and a photo booth in the back of the till area which wasn’t being used but i would suspect that if it were it could cause a bottleneck. No queue and lady very nice. Cleaned her station whilecwe were putting our shopping in the belt. There were no queues to checkout so no need to marshal people. The checkout operator was friendly and careful with my shopping. Sophie served me and was very professional. She was just finishing with the customer in front of me and said hello as I approached. I was able to unload my shopping straight away and she scanned the products carefully but quickly. There was a person managing the self service tills and checkouts to make sure on-one was queuing for long. I walked straight up to a till but they did have all the ones that were available open. A couple of tills at the end had been cordoned off as the exit next to them was shut to obviously manage customer numbers in store. There were no staff guiding customers in the checkout area and I was left to myself to join a queue. The cashier was reasonably friendly and greeted me with a smile. My items were scanned in good time and I was then asked for payment. He then thanked me for my custom and handed me a receipt. Finally, he smiled and wished me a good day.
Availability score (20) 9 20 14 18 17 18
 Of the 33 items on your shopping list how many were:             
Available (up to 20) 26 33 30 32 31 31
Out of stock (-2 per item) 4 0 3 1 1 0
Not stocked (-1 per item) 3 0 0 0 1 2
Availability % 86.7 100.0 90.9 97.0 96.9 100.0
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) Own Label Honey Roast Ham 220g - subbed for Own Label cooked Ham Sure Men Ice Fresh - subbed for

Sure Men Active Dry

Own Label Penne - subbed for Napolina Penne

Aubergine - no sub
N/A Large flat mushrooms: no substitution as didn’t need item.

Vanilla ice cream: no substitution as didn’t need item.

Large free range eggs: substitute XL eggs
Large free range eggs were out of stock so I picked 6 medium instead. Apples N/A
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)  Galia Melon - subbed for Honeydew

Golden Delicious - subbed for Granny Smiths

Pork Mince - subbed for Turkey Mince
N/A N/A N/A Cheese strings in 8 pack original were not stocked, they had twisted and scary 8 packs but I bought 2 x 4 packs of original cheese strings as they were offer and cheaper than buying 8. Own label mild and light olive oil (substituted with standard olive oil),

 Hovis white bread 800g (substituted with own label farmhouse white bread).
Please give any other details or info about your shopping trip, good or bad I really enjoy shopping in Asda, the staff are really friendly and the other customers genuinely seem friendlier too. It’s a shame this one is so small as I would likely do my shopping here every week. Very nice shop. Totally relaxed and no problems at all. Click & Collect available and pick-up was in one corner of the car park so shoppers don’t need to enter store.

The shop was easy and pleasant despite Covid restrictions. All staff and customers stuck to guidelines and it was fairly quiet.
N/A Click and Collect available at the reception desk with plenty of space around it and not interfering with the entry or exit.

Overall, shopping in Waitrose was such a pleasurable experience especially after my previous two shops at different supermarkets earlier on in the week. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful and the sense of calm in the store was just lovely.
Click and collect is not currently available in this store.

The mushroom stir fry packets on display looked past their best, even though they were all still in date.
TOTAL SCORE (100) 74 94 84 79 91 78