Morrisons Giffnock

Rami Baitiéh’s drive to improve the in-store customer experience seems to be paying dividends for Morrisons, which has notched up its fifth Grocer 33 store of the week prize since the turn of the calendar year.

Last week Baitiéh, who has been in situ as CEO since last November, oversaw the biggest reported quarterly sales growth for Morrisons in three years.

Announcing the results, Baitiéh was particularly delighted by a 60% reduction in customer complaints over the past 20 weeks. He will be just as pleased with the performance of its Giffnock store in Glasgow during our visit on the Saturday morning of the Easter weekend.

The store racked up 80 points, boosted by strong availability. Our shopper came home with 30 items – and the remaining three items were not stocked.

In terms of store standards, restocking and some online pickers did create an obstruction in some areas, but overall our shopper was impressed.

Staff, including the checkout operator, were friendly and tried to be as helpful as possible. Our shopper was also pleased to find some tables and chairs next to the bakery section for customers who might need a rest.

Sainsbury’s in Andover missed out on the top spot by two points with a score of 78. Our shopper’s visit could not have got off to a better start. After driving straight into a parking space close to the entrance, she was thrilled by the “really impressive range of plants on display”.

The feelgood factor didn’t entirely last as the “promotions just inside the entrance were a little lacklustre”, with many of the Easter displays running low so close to the big day.

However, the store was mostly well stocked and, as in Morrisons, our shopper bagged 30 items, with the other three products not on sale at the store.

Staff were helpful, particularly the team member who explained that even though some items were not stocked in that store, our shopper could purchase them via click & collect if they were ranged by Sainsbury’s elsewhere.

The other three stores visited this week were quite far behind. Waitrose Crewkerne scored 53 after suffering from patchy availability: three out-of-stocks and two not-sold items.

The car park was full, and this was not helped by a large sectioned-off area near the store, while one of the two ticket machines was out of order.

Once in store, our shopper had difficulty finding a staff member for assistance. However, when she did find them, “they were all helpful” and took her to the area to look for the item. Our shopper was also pleased to find “a good number of manned tills and plenty of self-checkout tills”.

Tesco’s store in London’s Stroud Green scored 47. Although there were no out-of-stocks, our shopper was only able to pick up 25 items due to the limited range available.

Narrow aisles made getting around tricky. Our shopper had to ask several staff members for help and while some did take her to products, it appeared others “were not sure whether items were stocked or not”.

Availability was the key downfall for last-placed Asda Wolstanton, which had five out-of-stocks and patchy stock levels in store. Narrow aisles were again cited as a cause of irritation, only added to by five online pickers with trolleys.

Finally, the store layout was also described as confusing. However, helpful staff were praised as “the best thing about the store”.