Morrisons stockport

Morrisons’ bakery impressed our shopper thanks to its ‘great range’

Morrisons in Stockport delivered a solid performance to claim the Grocer 33 store of the week title, but in truth it faced precious little opposition.

The store notched up 72 points with a generally clean and tidy appearance, apart from a little litter in the foyer. Our shopper’s only gripe was that it was “rather cold”.

There were two out-of-stocks and two not-stocked products. The store seemed well stocked on our Friday evening visit, though our shopper did spot some gaps in the fruit & veg section and the cereals aisle.

The store layout was logical and our shopper felt the counters were all well presented, in particular the bakery, which had a “great range of fresh breads and cakes available”.

Staff were “reasonably friendly” – though a couple were a little offhand, and they were difficult to locate.

The star of the show was the checkout operator, who was described as the “highlight of my visit”. He greeted our shopper politely and made friendly conversation, all while taking care not to damage the more delicate items. He also thanked our shopper for her custom “with a genuine smile”.

Tesco in Helsby, Frodsham, took the runner-up spot but was a long way adrift on 58 points. The store received full marks for shop floor service and, like Morrisons, had a very smooth and friendly checkout process.

Our shopper encountered five members of staff, all of whom went out of their way to assist.

However, our shopper left with just 27 items, due to six being out of stock. There were numerous gaps on shelves, particularly in fruit & veg.

Waitrose in Eaton, Norwich was a point behind Tesco. Availability was marginally better, with two out-of-stocks and five not-stocked items.

Our shopper praised the “wonderful display of fresh flowers and promotions for Mother’s Day” and said the butcher, fishmonger and deli looked appealing. The store’s toilets were a mess, however.

Her encounters with staff were mixed. One staffer was curt and dismissive. The checkout operator, in contrast, was friendly and polite, and most shop floor staff took her to where she needed to be or investigated an item’s availability.

Morrisons stoctport 1

Availability was the main problem at Sainsbury’s Newton Abbot, dragging down its score to just 47 points. There were four out-of-stocks and two not-stocked items.

In terms of store standards, first impressions were lacking. Our shopper noticed lots of trolleys strewn across the car park while the trolley bays were overflowing.

Staff were generally hard to find but the two members of the team she did find were extremely helpful and friendly. The checkout assistant was also “very cheerful, chatty and friendly”. However, our shopper’s overall impression was of coming into “the aftermath of an incredibly busy day in an understaffed store”.

Asda in Kingston-upon-Thames scored just 25 points. Our shopper “was relieved to get away” from this “unpleasant” shop.

The car park was littered due to overflowing bins, while trolleys were sticking out into the road. The untidiness continued inside, with gaps in stock, items in the wrong place and litter.

There was a lack of staff on the shop floor and, when our shopper did find someone, there was no attempt to investigate a missing item. There was no eye contact or greeting from the checkout operator, who handled items roughly.