Sainsbury’s Cannock store was in a league of its own this week with an impressive haul of 91 points, leaving it well clear of the rest of the pack.
The stellar performance gave Sainsbury’s its fourth Grocer 33 service and availability victory in the past six weeks.
Our shopper picked up all 33 items, marking the first full basket for several weeks. She was full of praise for the store’s Covid security measures, which helped her feel safe.
The store was tidy and well stocked, and while our shopper did spot a number of stocking trolleys, these did not cause an obstruction.
Although our shopper was able to find most of the items she needed without assistance, the two members of staff she did ask for help were friendly and knowledgeable.
Tesco in Truro took the runner-up spot this week, though with 68 points it trailed Sainsbury’s by a distance.
Overall, our mystery shopper described her visit as “a good experience”. She did observe a lot of restocking taking place and this, combined with narrow aisles, was an issue in terms of navigating the store and maintaining social distancing.
Shop floor service was generally strong and she described the checkout operator as friendly and helpful. She left with 30 items as the pomegranate seeds were out of stock and it didn’t stock the Naked bacon or Strong Roots hash browns.
Third place went to Morrisons in Hadleigh, with 66 points. Its was similar to Tesco on the availability front, with one out-of-stock and three not-stocked lines.
The store was tidy, though our shopper found it quite dark to begin with – a situation that improved halfway through her shop when more lights were turned on.
The staff members she approached for assistance were mostly quite helpful, though not all checked in the stockroom and one just pointed in the right direction.
The biggest concern for our shopper was a member of staff doing stock control, who leaned across her “with no concern for social distancing or my personal space” and indeed made contact with her as he checked a barcode.
First impressions were not great for our shopper at Waitrose in Wimbledon. She described the car park as narrow and while there were no queues to get into the store, it was busy and there were no obvious signs of crowd control. She also spotted an unmanned stocking trolley in the foyer.
The store, like the car park, was narrow and made getting around quite complicated. Her encounters with staff were positive, however. And there was just one out-of-stock and five not-stocked lines. The store scored a total of 55.
Asda in Mitcham only racked up 49 points, and that was despite not having any out-of-stock items.
Like Waitrose, the shop got off to a bad start. The first two trolleys our shopper opted for had no handles and a number of the trolley bays were poorly stocked. In other areas, trolleys were abandoned, blocking the way for shoppers and forcing them to walk into the path of traffic. There was no organisation at the entrance and no sanitiser in that area either.
There was a security guard present but our shopper did not see him taking any action. In fact, she felt this was the case for staff in general – one team member she asked for help simply waved in a general direction without breaking stride or saying a word.
This week’s results:
|WEEK 42: Saturday, 10/04/2021 (9am-11am)||WINNER|
|Time slot||9am - 11am||9am - 11am||9am - 11am||9am - 11am||9am - 11am|
|Car Park (10)||5||4||9||8||4|
|Car park management (3)||1||2||3||2||1|
|Queueing time to park and finding a parking space (2)||2||1||2||2||1|
|Exiting the car park (2)||2||0||2||2||1|
|After exiting your car please rate your experience before entering the store? (3)||0||1||2||2||1|
|Feedback||There was no queue to either get into or leave the carpark. There were very few parking spaces, however, and no parking attendants on duty. The trolley park next to the entrance had very poor supply of trolleys and two of them were no use as they had no handles! Other trolley parks were poorly stocked and most trolleys were just abandoned around the carpark and were causing an obstacle for pedestrians causing them to walk in the path of vehicles in places. Entry and exit to the store is via the same door and there is nothing and no one to indicate who has priority or organise a one way system. The result was no social distancing and quite a bit of pushing by customers. It was not a comfortable experience. There is a sign by the trolley park encouraging people to use the sanitiser but there is none available either at the trolley park or at the store entrance. The only sanitiser I saw was positioned after the tills as I was leaving and it was pushed back against the outer wall/window of the store with no encouragement to use it.||Nice big car park. One way in, one way out. Plenty of disabled and children spaces. Garden centre section in middle at front of car park.||The car park is a good size for the store and there were plenty of spaces available. There were trolleys nearly stacked near the store entrance and there was a table with paper towels, cleaner and hand sanitiser as I entered the store. There was no queue but there was a staff member on the door to monitor the customer numbers.||N/A||The car park was narrow, like the store, and the spaces were also tight. It was reasonably full but there were no queues, but neither were there any particular signs of queue management: a single bollard was in place, around which I noticed a shopper pushing their trolley. the sanitiser station was partially obscured by a plant.|
|Store standards (20)||9||13||18||11||10|
|First impression (6)||0||4||6||2||2|
|Fruit & vegetables section (3)||3||2||3||2||2|
|Store standards - remaining sections (3)||2||2||3||2||2|
|Feedback||On entry inside the store there are special offers lining the route - these were seasonal with large packs of beer on one side and picnic items/outdoor games on the other. The effect of these is to narrow the entrance, however, which made the pushing of customers to get in and out of the store worse. There was a security guard present here but he was not engaging with customers or managing the situation at all. The fruit and vegetable section was well organised with fresh looking produce that was well stocked. Throughout the store stock levels were good but the problem was that items were not being brought forward onto the shelves so at first sight some items appeared to be out of stock. This was particularly the case in the freezer section where it was often necessary to stretch to the back of the freezer to obtain the item required. There was quite a bit of restocking taking place and on the whole trolleys were neatly pushed to the side or end of aisles and were attended. There was one incident where this was not the case . All fixtures, chillers and freezers were in good order and there were no spillages anywhere.||The store was tidy and quite well presented but rather dark. Halfway round my shop they turned on more lights. Found this odd as I wasn’t in the shop too early it was 10am||The store was not too busy and I felt safe as I shopped. There was plenty of space to social distance and the aisles are wide. There were a number of restocking trolleys around the store but the majority were placed to the side and had a member of staff nearby. Shelves were tidy and well stocked.||Lots of restocking going on||As you entered the store, there was a 50% promotion on some eco-cleaning products. But there was an unmanned trolley next to it, which spoilt the impression, and that was to be a theme of the entire shop.|
|Store layout and services (10)||6||5||7||7||3|
|Did the store layout seem logical and intuitive? (4)||4||1||4||1||0|
|Available services (6)||2||4||3||6||3|
|Feedback||The store was well laid out with most items being easy to find either through common sense as they were linked with similar items or were well signposted. I had little difficulty finding all items required with very little backtracking. There was no click & collect system in evidence. There was a Food to Go counter and there was a meal deal advertised. The problem with this section is access. It is designed for people to run in, grab what they want and pay at the kiosk. If you have a trolley you can’t get there without pushing past the kiosk queue and you can’t get the trolley out to it once you’ve entered the fruit & veg section as it is behind the till line. The only way I could access it was to leave my trolley unattended in the main area and skip through an unattended till line. There is no other sandwich/salad area in the main store. There are counters for deli items and pizzas at the back of the store and there were a few deals there but nothing special. The pizzas were very attractive, however, with good levels of toppings and they appeared to be a very good price.||This store had plenty of services - Deli/cheese, fish, bakery, hot food (closed) counters but I found the layout of the store rather odd and had to follow the signage to find the things I required.||There was a hot chicken counter and a fresh pizza counter open but the cheese, fish and butcher counters were closed. The in store bakery was open and they had a display of fresh, boxed cakes available. The store was easy to navigate and all items were easy to find.||Think walkways could be made wider||It’s a thin/narrow store, which provides complications. The meat/fish/cheese counter was very long and impressive, and looked very inviting, but the service staff weren’t sufficiently attentive, and really needed to pay more attention to customers across the full width of the shop, rather than talking to one another. I also noticed that store signage didn’t always relate to the items on display: There were random items stocked in the fresh section that bore no relation to the items on the tickets below. I also noticed that the ‘spreads’ signage was in a section full of yoghurts and cheeses, and far away from the butters and spreads. There was a very nice wine section, but the lagers were sited elsewhere in the store.|
|Shop Floor Service (20)||7||17||20||17||16|
|Finding a member of staff (5)||3||5||5||5||3|
|Shop floor staff helpfulness in locating items (5)||0||3||5||4||4|
|Shop floor staff diligence and hard work in replenishing shelves and picking in-store orders (5)||2||4||5||4||4|
|Staff presentation (5)||2||5||5||4||5|
|Feedback||There were enough staff on the shopfloor to find assistance without too much trouble. I could not find the bottled Guinness and when I asked a member of staff who was working in the area he could only point out the cans and not the bottles. I could not find the Nivea body lotion and when I asked another passing member of staff she just pointed in the general direction without stopping and never said a word. I watched other customers attempting to access help and receiving it with minimal effort. Several staff members were observed chatting to each other about non work related issues. Whilst staff members were wearing uniform and were neat and tidy in appearance there was no PPE evident anywhere amongst staff members.||The staff I spoke to were all helpful although not all checked for stock in stockroom and one just pointed me in the right direction rather than guiding me there||I found all the items I needed but I approached Charlotte who was restocking the soft drinks aisle and asked about the mixed fruit. She was very helpful and told me it was on aisle 15 but didn’t show me. I asked a member of staff on the fruit and veg section where I could find the parsnips and she points to the correct section of the next aisle and told me where to find them. She was wearing a name badge but I couldn’t read the name under her collar.||N/A||Staff encounters were positive but those discarded cages tell a story.|
|Tills and checkouts (20)||10||17||17||13||16|
|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)||3||5||5||4||5|
|How long did you have to queue? (5)||2||3||3||5||3|
|Please rate checkout staff on their customer service (8)||3||7||7||2||6|
|Was the till receipt free of mistakes? (2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Feedback||There were two people in front of me in the queue which meant that I was standing in the aisle in order to maintain social distancing. Half of the staffed tills were open and it appeared that they were not opening the others to avoid the staff members having to sit back to back in the same space. There were no staff monitoring the queue situation and there were no queues at all and hardly any customers using the self service tills. The customer ahead of me only had a few items in a basket and could easily have used a self service till with assistance if he had been encouraged to do so and offered help. The staff member on the till was very much focused on processing the items as quickly as possible although she was very careful with her handling. She did not look up when I approached the till, however, did not make any eye contact and started scanning the items whilst the previous customer was standing at the end of the packing area. This held up my arrival in this area and the goods were piling up. She finished scanning well before I had managed to pack the items so the same thing happened to the customer behind me. She did say goodbye when I had paid although I was not ready to leave the area at this time.||There were 12 main tills with 9 open, 4 large self services tills and 9 basket self service all of which were open.
I was served by Kay who was a very pleasant lady who broke the packaging on my apples so had them replaced.
|There was one or two people waiting at each till and there seemed to be a staff member trying to manage the queues but no other tills were opened while I waited.
There was one person being served as I approached the till and one person in front of me. I had to wait a couple of minutes to load my shopping and I was served by Kim. She was efficient and friendly and she scanned my items. She didn’t ask if I needed any help but made eye contact and we had a chat about how the store wasn’t too busy.
|Helpful and friendly||Queues weren’t very long.|
|Availability score (20)||12||10||20||12||6|
|Of the 33 items on your shopping list how many were:|
|Available (up to 20)||29||29||33||30||27|
|Out of stock (-4 per item)||0||1||0||1||1|
|Not stocked (-2 per item)||4||3||0||2||5|
|Number of items bought (incl.subs)||29||29||33||30||27|
|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: Nivea Moisture Rich Body Lotion||N/A||Product 1: Ppmagranet seeds||Product 1: Lindt salted caramel truffles|
|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)||Product 1: Unsmoked back bacon
Product 2: Pitted prunes
Product 3: Potato & egg salad
Product 4: Cauliflower hash browns
|Product 1: Finnebrogue Artisan Naked bacon
Product 2: Ariel Excel Gel 24 wash 888ml
Product 3: Own label potato and egg salad
|N/A||Product 1: Cauliflower hash brown
Product 2: Naked bacon
|Product 1: Nescafe original decaffeinated instant coffee
Product 2: Cornetto Classico Ice Cream cone
Product 3: Potato and egg salad
Product 4: Twinings peach and orange tea
Product 5: Natures Finest pitted prunes
|Please give any other details or info about your shopping trip, good or bad||This store was a strange mix of very good: stock levels, organisation of the store, accessibility - and average/poor. Unfortunately, the average or poor areas were those associated with staffing specifically their desire to assist customers beyond the bare minimum. Better organisation of the trolleys in the car park, a willingness by staff to make the entrance to the store less of a scrum, a smile or acknowledgement from a staff member when a direct question was asked and a recognition that working on the till is more than just processing the items being purchased would all have made for a better shopping experience. Thankfully the store was pretty quiet - much more so than it appeared at the entrance once people had moved through the fruit and vegetable section there was plenty of room - helped to mitigate all of these problems.||The staff I spoke to were helpful but I was rather annoyed by a gentleman called Scott doing stock control who leaned across me, touching me, to get to a bar code with no concern for social distancing or my personal space!||It was a pleasant shop and all the members of staff I encountered were friendly and helpful. There is a large stu clothing department and an I store Argos shop.||It was a good experience||The best features of this store are its counter and its wine section but it’s a strange and underwhelming store, surprisingly pokey, with a low roof, and short aisles.|
|TOTAL SCORE (100)||49||66||91||68||55|