Sainsbury’s took the top spot in service and availability this week, marking an end to Waitrose’s five-week winning streak.
Its store in Darnley, Glasgow notched up an impressive 87 points driven by excellent shopfloor service.
On entering, our shopper immediately felt safe thanks to plentiful supplies of hand sanitiser and staff clearly enforcing social distancing.
Products were easy to find thanks to the store’s “intuitive” layout and staff were also keen to help when needed.
The team was mainly focused on picking for online orders and replenishing stock despite few gaps on the shelves. Our mystery shopper missed only one item on the list, the out-of-stock Birds Eye fish fingers.
Our shopper heaped praise on the efforts made to keep restocking trolleys out of the way. She was also impressed by the store’s broad range of products and services thanks to its recent refit, including an extensive beauty section, Lindt pic ‘n’ mix and Sushi Gourmet concession counter.
Runner-up Morrisons was a fair way behind with 69 points.
The Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire branch was generally well stocked but let down by the lacklustre selection at the salad bar and food-to-go section. Our shopper was pleased to see service counters, but found they caused a bottleneck of customers.
Our shopper was glad signage was both clear and “helpful”, as she had to go out of her way to find employees to help her.
There was no queue for the checkouts and the cashier was “friendly” throughout the transaction. Our shopper left with 30 items due to two out of stocks and one not-stocked product.
Asda and Waitrose each scored 63 points this week.
Asda on Thamesdown Drive, Swindon was “busy” due to employees’ failure to keep track of the number of customers entering.
Its interior looked “very messy” too, with several replenishment trolleys scattered in the aisles and rubbish on the floor.
Our shopper described staff as “helpful” despite how busy they were throughout his trip, and he managed to pick up all 33 items on our list.
However, queues for the checkout were poorly managed and, like the rest of the store, the area came across as “too busy” for staff to manage.
Our Waitrose shopper had a mixed experience during her visit. The Poole store returned the worst availability this week with four out of stocks and two not-stocked items, yet achieved full marks for shopfloor service, making it the only other super-market to do so aside from Sainsbury’s.
She was impressed with how well staff managed the queue to enter the store, but was upset as many customers ignored the hand sanitising station.
Its layout was “confusing” but plenty of staff were on hand to point her towards products no matter how busy they were.
Tesco at Copdock Interchange, Ipswich came last, scoring just 52 points.
Staff were on hand to ensure customers used the one-way entry and exit system. Plenty were around on the shopfloor too, and were careful to push re-stocking trolleys to one side.
However, Tesco lost marks when the team did not offer to check whether items missing from its shelves were stocked back of house.
In terms of availability, our shopper missed three items from our list: two out of stocks and one not stocked.
The visit was rounded off with a long wait to pay.
This week’s results:
|WEEK 37: Sunday, 07/03/2021 (12.00pm - 3.00pm)||WINNER|
|Car Park (10)||6||9||9||9||9|
|Car park management (3)||2||2||3||2||2|
|Queueing time to park and finding a parking space (2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Exiting the car park (2)||0||2||1||2||2|
|After exiting your car please rate your experience before entering the store? (3)||2||3||3||3||3|
|Feedback||Car park was very busy, but clean and tidy||Large carpark, clean and free trolleys neatly stacked away, plenty of spaces||This is a large car park, currently the upper level is closed however the lower level is still a great size and there were plenty of spaces, there are a lot of trolley bays in the carpark so it made collecting a trolley on the way in and returning it very easy. The entrance has been set up so people know which door to use entering and leaving and there were 2 sanitising stations available to clean your trolley/hands on the way in||Busy but tidy||Car park number 1 was mostly full with only spaces left that were difficult to park in or for electric vehicles, disabled or click and collect remaining|
|Store standards (20)||6||14||19||8||14|
|First impression (6)||0||4||6||2||4|
|Fruit & vegetables section (3)||2||2||3||0||2|
|Store standards - remaining sections (3)||1||2||3||1||2|
|Feedback||Store was extremely busy and very untidy. There was loads of ASAD colleagues who was trying they best to keep it tidy and restocking shelves as fast as they could. But the main problem was, store was way to busy and so many people was let in at one time. No monitoring on the doors.||Seasonal easter displays upon entering and also a section with good promotional deals. Front of the store has a cafe to the left and fruit and veg section is right at the front and looks like a real market. Attractive and bright||The store was light and airy when you walked in, there were displays of flowers for mothers day and easter eggs near the front of the store, these were bright and colourful, the fruit and veg section had a great number of items and was very well stocked, lots of variety. There were no restocking trolleys blocking the aisles although there were trolleys being used by the staff for the online/click and collect orders so they could pick the items, these were in the middle of the aisles but werent left unattended and the only became an issue when other shoppers stopped and blocked the way around them||Grocery section was poor selection and stock||Generally a pleasant store, first things you see as you enter from the left are flowers - pleasant visually and other quite tempting promotions, this then leads on to fruit and veg that are nicely presented although some categories did not have stock - empty shelf presence. When asked I was told that for fruit and veg what they had out is what they had in stock. The aisles are wide which is great and clean. Lots of use of white and green in the store infrastructure which makes it feel clean. Some areas before you get to the lifts where cluttered with storage units of some sort which wasn’t very appealing, but this was prior to store entry. If I was Marketing for Waitrose for this store I would suggest that the entrance areas be spruced up and made to look more organised. Hand sanitiser was on the wall and could be overlooked by customers before they enter the store. Overall the store is intuitive and the presentation of lots of lovely products is tempting and generally it is a pleasant shop - not the best Waitrose locally but the stock variety and quality of products make it worthwhile going into even if it’s not the newest of stores.|
|Store layout and services (10)||6||7||7||3||3|
|Did the store layout seem logical and intuitive? (4)||3||3||4||1||1|
|Available services (6)||3||4||3||2||2|
|Feedback||Asda got a new section of sushi display. But other then that average store, nothing exiting or any exiting offers or displays.||Plenty of in store services that were staffed and well stocked, fresh salad and sandwich section that wasn’t fully stocked but had lots of fresh pizzas to the side. Deli had lots of nice cheese and meats on display and was busy with customers. Bakery had lots of nice cakes and bread on display with good offers. Very well laid out round the one side of the supermarket. Made for pleasant browsing||The store has deli/fish counters etc but at the moment they are closed due to the pandemic,they had hot food counters, a pizza counter and sushi counter though which were all open and were well stocked, the store is large so the aisles were nice and wide with plenty of room to pass other customers, there is helpful signage in all the aisles but most of the layout made sense and was logical i was able to find everything easily||Good layout||Nicely presented Deli but again with little stock. Butcher and fishmonger stock also low. What is interesting is that one can deposit John Lewis returns there I used it myself a couple of times not long ago and it was very good in that there was a dedicated unit and I was refunded straightaway. Now the deposit mechanism is through Customer Service. There are some areas at the back of the store which are a little confusing and also some products such as newspapers and cards are kind of out of view if you come in through the lift area as opposed to the street entrance.|
|Shop Floor Service (20)||18||12||20||14||20|
|Finding a member of staff (5)||3||1||5||5||5|
|Shop floor staff helpfulness in locating items (5)||5||4||5||2||5|
|Shop floor staff diligence and hard work in replenishing shelves and picking in-store orders (5)||5||3||5||4||5|
|Staff presentation (5)||5||4||5||3||5|
|Feedback||Staff was very busy but helpful, they were dealing with very busy store that shouldnt have happened in the times we still live||One member of staff in the fruit/veg/fresh food section gave me assistance in finding the plums which she informed me were out of stock. I seen her again in the milk and dairy aisle but found it hard to find any other staff. Seen one staff member bringing trolleys out from the back but didn’t see where they went. Alot of staff on the tills and behind the service counters but not many on the floor||There were a lot of staff on the floor, many of them were picking orders for customers but they were available to help direct customers to items, the staff were smart in their uniforms. There were a few staff replenishing shelves but there was very little that needed replenishing so not many doing this task||Peronnel asked for help was pretty short and was not going to check if item was in stock||Great Staff, one young man was very helpful and found a number of items for me I couldn’t locate or they hadn’t got and also went out the back for me. Lots of young positive staff which makes shopping enjoyable and all were keen to help and seemed very busy. Always someone there.|
|Tills and checkouts (20)||7||17||16||8||17|
|Rate how well managed were the queues leading to the tills? Were a sufficient number of checkouts open for the volume of staff? Were staff on hand to advise on checkouts with shorter queues, or manage social distancing (5)||0||5||5||4||5|
|How long did you have to queue? (5)||0||4||3||0||4|
|Please rate checkout staff on their customer service (8)||5||6||6||2||6|
|Was the till receipt free of mistakes? (2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Feedback||Checkouts same as the rest of the store was way to busy and wasn’t managed well. Yes, most of checkout was opened but still it was to busy for staff to cope.||Susan at checkout was friendly and asked for my more card but didn’t chat much. Very busy at this time but there was plenty of tills open and the queues went down quickly||There were a good number of open tills so there were very few queues, when i joined there was only one person in front of me and she was already packing her shopping so i didnt have long to wait, this seemed to be the case on all of the tills, there was a member of staff keeping an eye on things but she wasnt having to direct people when i was there as the queues were very short. There was protective screens between the queues which made me feel safer when unloading my shopping||Store was very busy lots of footfall.||Great, no queue and I was ushered to a newly free till. Queue lines well marked and lots of social distancing measures and staff there to help.|
|Availability score (20)||20||10||16||10||0|
|Of the 33 items on your shopping list how many were:|
|Available (up to 20)||33||30||32||30||27|
|Out of stock (-4 per item)||0||2||1||2||4|
|Not stocked (-2 per item)||0||1||0||1||2|
|Number of items bought (incl.subs)||33||32||33||32||33|
|Please note down the items on your shopping list that were out of stock (please highlight the products that have managed to get a satisfactory substitutions)||N/A||Product 1: Pukka tea herbal collection
Product 2: Own Label British Plums 400g
|Product 1: Birds Eye 30 Cod Fish Fingers||Product 1: Own label King Edward potatoes 2000-2500g
Product 2: Birds Eye Chicken Dippers 607g
|Product 1: Galaxy Chocolate
Product 2: Own label British Plums
Product 3: Aunt Bessies Homestyle roast potatoes - only had mini ones
Product 4: Warburtons Medium White Sliced Bread
|Please note down the items on your shopping list that were not stocked (please highlight the products that have managed to get a satisfactory substitutions)||N/A||Product 1: Homepride Plain Flour 1000g||N/A||Product 1: Ainsley Harriott Szechuan Hot and Sour cup soup.||Product 1: Monster Munch Variety Pack
Product 2: Dairylea Lunchables ham and cheese crackers
|Please give any other details or info about your shopping trip, good or bad||Im not very stressful person, but this experience was the worse that i ever had, store was very busy, not possible to do any social distancing, checkouts with long ques. No staff on the doors to manage who many people enter and exit the store.||Good shopping experience, very nice layout and it resembles a market. The layout of the aisles are very well thoughout and everything flows well. Full section dedicated to “free from” items that were all were stocked, there was however many empty sections throughout the store. The deli and service counters were attractive and had lots of nice looking produce. Lots of good deals throughout the store and overall was a nice shopping experience, it doesn’t feel like you’re in a generic industrial supermarket||I really enjoyed shopping in this store, i was able to get almost everything on my list and the one item out of stock i was able to swap for a suitable alternative, being able to get all of the items and have such a choice was great especially being out during the pandemic as i dont want to have to go to another store. The shop was bright and spacious. There were a lot of things i didnt expect like the sushi bar, a lindor pick and mix and how nice their health and beauty department looked. Overall it felt much more than just a shop for food there were lots of different departments to look around like clothing and home accessories meaning you could get a lot of things you might not be able to in a normal supermarket||Other than fresh grocery stock levels the store was reasonably well managed during the visit and had like what seemed adequate covid measures in place. Sanitizer was available and directions however social distancing difficult due to number in store||Before the Car Park there were some Shipping Containers - no problem but a bit unusual and also on entrance of Car Park Two I scrapped my wheels….. tight fit!|
|TOTAL SCORE (100)||63||69||87||52||63|