Sainsbury’s Solihull

Source: Oakes Studios

Full availability on this Friday evening shop was particularly impressive

Sainsbury’s is on a winning streak – taking its fourth win in a row.

Its Marshall Lake Solihull store follows Sainsbury’s Bodmin, Dundee and Chester in coming first in The Grocer’s mystery shopping competition.

The store scored an impressive 90 points, with full marks on shop floor service and checkouts, as well as a full basket, despite the shop taking place on a Friday evening.

“This was overall one of the smoothest and easiest shopping experiences I’ve had recently,” said our shopper.

There were plenty of staff in the store, making it easy for our shopper to ask questions. At the checkout she had to queue for less than a minute. Items were easy to find, with good shelf labelling and an intuitive layout.

There were eye-catching displays including a bright pink Barbie display, and a seasonal display of fans.

In second place, Tesco Dundee scored 74 points. The store scored well on store standards and was nicely presented with displays at the entrance.

One of the security guards welcomed our shopper, which she thought was a nice touch.

However, store staff were not always as helpful as they could have been, with one assistant directing our shopper to an aisle where the product might be, but not taking her to it.

The car park was messy, with a few trolleys left around the car park and an area of paving surrounded by crash barriers that needed to be fixed.

There were four items not stocked in the 55,000 sq ft store.

In third, Asda’s Chatham store scored 58 points. The store was messy with at least three spillages marked with a wet floor sign and one trolley obstructing the aisle.

There were only two manned checkouts open despite the store being busy and our shopper had to wait four to five minutes to be served.

Stock levels were very poor: four items were out of stock and one not stocked. However, the layout was intuitive and it was easy to locate helpful staff.

“All in all it was a pleasant, stress-free experience,” said our shopper.

Waitrose Canada Square in London came in fourth with 55 points. The store was particularly busy and it was difficult for our shopper to manoeuvre her trolley through the aisles, which were not wide enough, she said.

There were noticeable gaps on the shelves and five items were out of stock overall but our shopper was pleasantly surprised by the fruit & veg selection.

Counters were also attractive and counter staff seemed to be engaging. But there was a very long queue at the checkout – eight to nine minutes – due to staff dealing with an issue with the customer ahead.

Morrisons Wrexham brought up the rear with 42 points.

Store standards were poor. There was a water spillage covering a whole aisle, an end of aisle spillage from a fridge, and a broken jar with glass and its contents on the floor.

There were yellow signs with all these spills but they were not attended to while our shopper was in store. The entrance to the store also had a dirty floor.

Only one member of staff could be found, who was not knowledgeable about stock but did get a store manager to assist. The store manager seemed “run off his feet” and just “ran up and pointed to a shelf and then immediately left”.

Our shopper had to wait four to five minutes at the checkout.

Availability was also poor with five items out of stock and four not stocked.