James Richardson Photography morrisons stamford

Source: James Richardson Photography

In a low-scoring week, supermarkets struggled with poor availability and patchy store standards.

Morrisons’ Stamford store took a narrow win with 53 points, thanks to a solid performance on checkout experience and store layout.

There was “lots of promotional activity presented as coherent displays”, and its salad bar, bakery, deli, fishmonger and butcher were all “well presented and stocked”.

Although staff were difficult to find – our shopper was unable to locate anyone on the shop floor – the checkout experience was very good. There was no queue and the staff member was “very friendly”.

Four items were out of stock and two not stocked, but our shopper felt there were “pretty adequate alternatives available” for nearly all items.

Waitrose Marylebone High Street came second with 52 points. Shop floor service was strong thanks to “very helpful” staff members, one of whom sought advice from another assistant to find an item. All staff were in uniform apart from the manager.

However, the store fell down in other areas, including store standards. The store was “really cramped” with restocking trolleys taking up a lot of space.

The cramped nature of the store led to delays at the checkout, and our shopper had to wait six to seven minutes to be served. The checkout was too small to accommodate all 33 items at once: “I had to pack half and then complete emptying the trolley.”

Our shopper concluded: “It is not a store that I would return to in a hurry.”

Third place went to Sainsbury’s Oldham, which scored 49 points. The store was “generally clean and tidy”. However, there were gaps on the shelves and some products were difficult to find. The toilets were also not clean – there was “rubbish on the floor”.

The store layout was logical, but navigation signs were missing on some of the aisles.

Staff were “in the main helpful”, and two were singled out as “extremely helpful” but one didn’t attempt to help our shopper find an out-of-stock item. Six items were out of stock.

The till service was “generally good with courteous staff”, and our shopper waited less than a minute to be served.

Tesco Hammersmith came fourth with 48 points.

It outperformed rivals on store standards: the branch was free from boxes and clutter, and the shelves looked “well stocked and tidy”.

One staff member was helpful and tried to locate a product. Another was less helpful, advising they “didn’t think they sold it” when asked about a different product, and making no effort to confirm if it was stocked.

The checkout assistant was helpful, but an error with the till led to delays for our shopper.

Four items were out of stock and two not stocked.

Last place went to Asda Rayleigh with just 35 points.

The entrance offered “an attractive display of flowers and pumpkins”, and two counters. But there were “quite a few empty shelves” and no staff offered to check the stockroom for items: one indicated a product might be in the next aisle but did not look himself.

The checkout assistant was pleasant enough but “didn’t say hello, offer to help pack or say goodbye”.

Three items were out of stock, and five not stocked. Our shopper called it “a nice enough shop” but stock was low and “I think the staff had had enough of being asked for things from the empty shelves”.