Having replaced an older store just 200 yards away, the branch notched up an impressive score of 80, edging out Tesco by a single point.
Our shopper was able to pick up 32 of the 33 items on our list, and only missed out on a full basket as the store had stopped stocking the Aunt Bessie’s roast parsnips after Christmas.
Other than not being a fan of the in-store music, our shopper was hugely impressed by the “great” store. She praised the staff, who were “super knowledgeable and took me to the aisle I needed quickly”, and were all wearing “cute badges with their names on”.
Finally, the checkout experience was “slick, smooth and efficient”.
Tesco’s Ashenden Road store in Guildford went one better on availability as our shopper was able to bag all 33 items. She was impressed by the fresh bakery, which she described as a “real addition to the shopping experience”. Store standards were high throughout and, when asked for assistance, the staff were friendly and took her to the product she needed.
There was really only one negative: the impact of staff fulfilling home delivery orders. Our shopper was initially annoyed that they were leaving their trolleys in what she felt were “obscure places”.
She also felt they were moving around the store too quickly – and one actually barged into her and did not offer an apology.
Sainsbury’s store in Leven would also have been a contender for the win this week if not for poor availability. The store racked up 70 points but scored just eight for availability, with two out-of-stocks as well as two not-stocked items.
Our shopper “wasn’t wowed” when she entered the store but everything was “clean, spacious and orderly”. There were several attractive displays linked to Burns Night.
She was assisted by several people, but singled out one staff member called Karen as being especially helpful.
She signed to our shopper that she was deaf before taking her to one of the items on her list, and explained that another was not stocked.
Asda’s store on Holt Road in Wrexham scored 64 points. Our visit got off to a disappointing start as our shopper observed litter and “trolleys strewn around untidily” in the car park. Staff were helpful but not overly so – and one simply pointed to a shelf to note where an item should be.
There was strong availability, however, with just one out-of-stock preventing our shopper from completing a full basket.
Overall scores were much improved on last week – that is except for Waitrose’s store on London’s Edgware Road, which managed just 40 points.
There were no marks for availability on account of four out-of-stocks and three not-stocked products. It wasn’t just the items on our list that were missing – many freezer cabinets were empty and “there were too may empty shelves in store”.
There were a number of unmanned stocking trolleys in the aisles, while interactions with staff were mixed. Some staffers took our shopper to items she needed, but a colleague stacking shelves in the drinks aisle told her he had “no idea” if the merlot was stocked.