Sainsburys fruit veg aisle Aldi price match

Source: Emma Solomon Photography

Our shopper received a ‘really good, positive impression’ during the visit

Sainsbury’s claimed victory this week with excellent scores across service, standards and layout.

The Whitley Bay store scored 85 points, performing well across almost every area. Although it fell somewhat short on availability – two items were out of stock and one was not stocked – our shopper had a “really good, positive impression throughout”.

“The store felt very calm,” our shopper said. “I was very impressed at how tidy and clean everything was.”

The store layout was good, and the signage was useful in locating products. Staff were helpful, and our shopper “felt quite at ease” during the shop.

Checkout service was also strong: “the checkout operator was very friendly, very helpful” and did not rush our shopper, wishing her “a very good weekend”.

Overall, our shopper considered the Sainsbury’s store “an excellent shop”.

Asda Cannock was runner-up with 72 points. It had excellent shop floor service, and the highest availability score this week.

The store was “tidy and organised” with “minimal gaps”. The layout was “easy to navigate” though not always intuitive. Special offers were advertised at the end of aisles with “clear signs”.

Staff restocking were careful not to cause an obstruction. Although difficult to find, staff were “helpful and friendly” and the checkout assistant was “friendly and efficient”.

On the less positive side, the bakery was in darkness with “no staff available” to answer questions, and the deli counter had been reduced.

But overall, the “large and open store” resulted in a “pleasant shopping experience”.

Following close behind was Tesco Amesbury, which scored 71 points.

The store scored full marks on shop floor service, as our shopper praised the “polite, helpful and well presented” staff.

Staff directed our shopper to products, used their scanners to check stock and went to the stockroom to double check. The checkout assistant was also “cheerful, polite and efficient”.

However, the store was let down by availability, for which it scored zero points. Four items were out of stock and three were not stocked.

In terms of store standards, the entrance to the store was “clean and tidy” even if “not particularly inspiring”. The food to go shelves were “very well stocked”, with some “tempting offers” on the ends of aisles, but our shopper noted the fruit & veg section had “a couple of bare areas”.

Last place went to Morrisons and Waitrose, which both scored 54 points. Morrisons Liskeard had poor store standards and shop floor service.

There were “some gaps on shelves and discarded packaging” and the baking aisle contained “a spillage of flour”.

On the plus side, our shopper felt the store had a “logical flow” and the signage was “clear and helpful”. The counters had “attractive displays,” but the hot deli counter had “some items that looked unattractive and dry”.

Staff were not always easy to find. Some staff went to check the warehouse for an item, but another just said: “If it’s not on the shelf, we don’t have any.”

Waitrose Reading did well on service but suffered in every other area, scoring zero in availability. Four items were out of stock and two were not stocked.

The store was “orderly, tidy and clean” and the counters “looked nice enough, but there were lots of gaps”. Checkout service was “polite and friendly”.