Sainsbury’s in Hempstead Valley

Source: Sue’s Special Days Photography

Sainsbury’s was ‘impressively tidy’, with ‘friendly and efficient’ staff

An “attentive, helpful and diligent” team of staff helped Sainsbury’s secure the win this week, while other stores suffered on service and availability.

Our shopper gave the Hempstead Valley store 68 points for “a really pleasant experience”. It was “impressively tidy”, and staff were quick to clean up an accidental spill made by our shopper. On the till too, the assistant was diligent, friendly and efficient, encouraging our shopper to take her time and wishing her a safe journey.

This was a far cry from the “perfunctory” service our shopper received at second-placed Morrisons Rubery, which scored 66 points. The checkout assistant “said hello but didn’t look up”. Although they handled items with care, they did not ask for our shopper’s Morrisons card or say goodbye.

Service was again poor on the shop floor. Staff were scarce and seemed busy, and did not take our shopper to items.

One staff member, who our shopper took to be a manager, simply responded “aisle 27” and carried on talking. “I was impressed with his knowledge but he seemed too harried to help,” said our shopper.

However, its score was buoyed by availability, as the only store to have no out of stock items amid widespread fresh produce shortages. Three items were not stocked.

At third-placed Waitrose Farnborough, staff were hard to locate. Several members of staff were restocking the fresh areas, but in the wine section our shopper had to go across the store to find a colleague.

Staff were “generally helpful”, but only one went to the back to check for stock.

On the checkout, there were only a couple of manned tills open, but our shopper only had to wait two or three minutes. The checkout assistant was “courteous” and “handled the products with care”.

In contrast to Morrisons, the store was let down by its availability. It also scored zero due to six out of stocks and two not-stocked lines.

At Asda, there was an abundance of “hard working” staff on the shop floor. One staff member went out of her way to help: “She accompanied me around the store in a quest to find the item and was reluctant to have to concede defeat.”

However, poor store standards took Asda’s score down to 44. There were lots of empty crates in the fruit & vegetable section, which had been covered with posters showing pictures of vegetables.

Meanwhile, some products were missing price tickets, and pallets were obstructing aisles.

And six out-of-stock items led to a score of zero on availability.

Chaos was the general theme at Tesco Shrewsbury this week, which came last with 43 points.

The car park was chaotic due to the number of cars, people, trolleys and delivery vans.

Once inside, there were lots of gaps on the shelves. Staff were stacking shelves, but this resulted in restocking trolleys being left lying around.

All the staff were wearing uniform but of “varying standards”. When asked for help, staff pointed to where the item was rather than taking our shopper there. Staff were largely restocking in groups rather than on their own.

The checkout experience at Tesco was “chaos” despite five tills being open. Queues of people spilled into the aisles and there was no queue management from staff.

Our shopper queued for about six minutes and then waited another five while the checkout assistant set up the till.