Morrisons Swansea

Morrisons bagged the latest Grocer 33 store of the week prize thanks to a strong performance from its Pentrechwyth store in Swansea, which scored 81 points.

There was a car boot sale in the car park, which our shopper found a little confusing, but the entrance to the store was “immaculate” on our early Saturday morning visit.

Standards were high across the board. Our shopper was particularly impressed by the attractive counters, including the fishmonger and salad bar, as well as the colourful displays of fresh flowers.

Our shopper had also never seen a store with so many staff on the shop floor. All were keen to help. “At one point I was asking for help finding the cream, when another member of staff jumped in as she knew exactly where it was,” she reported.

While only three staff-operated tills were open, that was enough at the time. The checkout operator was friendly.

The store seemed generally well-stocked, but our shopper was only able to pick up 30 items. One product was not stocked, while another two were out of stock.

Sainsbury’s in Kingsgate Retail Park, Glasgow took the runner-up spot with 73 points. Plenty of staff were busy stocking shelves, so our shopper noted little in the way of gaps throughout the store.

Staff were well-presented, polite and helpful. As well as those replenishing shelves, there were quite a few staff picking for online grocery orders and the combination did cause obstructions on occasions.

Only two of the store’s six manned checkouts were open. Even though it was early in the morning, this was not enough to serve the volume of shoppers – both had at least five customers waiting to go through. Our shopper took 31 items home, as there were two out-of-stock products.

Asda’s Old Horns Crescent store in Birmingham came just a point behind Sainsbury’s on 72. It also had the same availability score, with two out-of-stocks.

Standards were generally good, though our shopper did notice a number of empty boxes blocking products on shelves and within some of the fridges.

Staff were excellent, including on one occasion when a member of the team was unable to find a product. Another overheard, then went to get the item and brought it to our shopper as she continued around the store. Our shopper said she would shop there more often if it had been closer to her home.

The Waitrose store in the Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe, Kent, was let down by poor availability as it recorded a score of 59.

Nine products were missing, with five out-of-stocks and four not-stocked items. The store was clean and tidy.

However, while staff were friendly they were not particularly knowledgeable, so did not always prove very helpful.

Scoring just 48 points, guest retailer Iceland’s Spennymoor store was on the small side and thus six items were not stocked. There were also two out-of-stocks.

The aisles were narrow and a lack of signage made it hard to navigate. The biggest issue was the packs of mozzarella slices. A number had visible mould, which our shopper had to point out to staff – who then removed them from sale.

Despite no products being out of stock at Tesco in Fakenham, the store scored just 47. A multitude of restocking trolleys caused blockages, while staff were “rude and unwilling to help” – meaning our shopper would not return to the store.