Tesco Clubcard prices aisle shopper

Source: Josie Hextall

Tesco Sleaford was ‘extremely clean and tidy’, according to our shopper

Tesco won this week with 94 points at its Sleaford branch, with a single out-of-stock item preventing a near perfect score.

The Tesco store was “extremely clean and tidy”, with “plenty of staff around”. The layout was “intuitive” and “clearly signposted”. The deli area was particularly well signposted, with images of items to help shoppers identify sections.

Our shopper noted that the staff were restocking with smaller trolleys rather than larger restocking trolleys, which limited obstructions.

Tesco received full marks for shop floor service: “Staff were all super-friendly and helpful.” Staff took our shopper to exact product locations, and were easy to find.

At the checkout, the tills were busy but well managed with no queues. The assistant was “lovely” and “really efficient”.

Sainsbury’s Telford came second with 72 points, with an “intuitive” store and “polite” staff. Shoppers at the Telford store were greeted with a good display of fruit & veg, along with plants and flowers. There were “enticing” displays of pizza and hot food.

Staff were easy to find. One checked a product’s availability, and another took our shopper straight to an item. Others just pointed in the right direction. Apart from Tesco it was the only retailer to score points for availability this week.

Morrisons came third with 40 points, with queues of over six minutes and restocking trolleys causing obstruction in the aisles.

The staff in the Acton store were “mostly helpful” in locating items and checking for stock. However, one staff member was not helpful in locating an item and refused to check the stockroom for an item.

Checkout service was “good and friendly”. Availability was poor, with six items out of stock.

Asda Stepney Green scored 39 points, with untidy shelves and obstructed aisles. There were a lot of gaps in the store.

Items were difficult to find and not always intuitively placed, and many were on the wrong shelf or mixed up.

One of the products had an opened box that made it unsalable, but it had not been removed. There were other battered boxes in the same freezer.

Service was “fair but not exceptional” with long queues for the checkout as there was only one staffed checkout open. Shop floor service was “helpful”, and a staff member provided “useful” suggestions for an alternative.

A large number of products on our list were not stocked – 11. However, there were “good alternatives” to the not stocked products.

Waitrose Putney came last with 32 points. Very poor service and availability led to a “disappointing experience”.

Our shopper’s first impression was poor, with several of the flower offerings “wilted and in need of water”. The fruit & veg section was poorly stocked, “with whole areas completely empty”. Restocking was impeding access.

Training taking place on the shop floor led to poor service: one staff member did not know whether an item was stocked, where it would be, or indeed what it was.

Our shopper waited more than six minutes for a checkout. Only one staffed till was available and many customers were expected to use self service. The supervisor in sight of the tills did not make any attempt to reduce the queue.

The checkout assistant was “very careful” with products and kept pace with our shopper’s packing ability.