Sainsbury’s scored its first win in over a month thanks to its “calm and ordered” atmosphere.
Our shopper was met with no queue to enter the car park or the store, and a one-way entry and exit system at its Lincoln branch. She also spotted hand sanitiser for customers and staff monitoring shopper numbers.
The store achieved the highest score of the supermarkets for its standards, but our shopper did come across three spillages that hadn’t been cleaned up.
The branch is having Sainsbury’s second Argos hub-style store installed next month. As a result our shopper was left frustrated when it came to finding certain items due to the layout changes. There were plenty of staff to ask for help, who directed her to the correct aisle, but did not offer to show her personally.
Sainsbury’s had two out-of-stock items, and while staff were working on replenishing shelves, this led to trolleys causing obstructions.
Waitrose in Uttoxeter took the runner-up spot, with our shopper describing her visit as “pleasant”. It was the only retailer with a full basket, and our shopper saw shelves being filled without obstruction, thanks to trolleys and cages being pushed to one side.
Its standards slipped due to a “dusty and dirty” escalator, but she felt safe overall. This was mainly thanks to there being no queues and most employees wearing masks or visors, plus “friendly and helpful” service.
There was a strong start for Morrisons in Bridlington with no queue, a security guard greeting every customer, and cleaning equipment for shoppers and trolleys. This left our shopper with an “excellent first impression”.
Morrisons was well-stocked on the whole, but had some “glaring” gaps, particularly in the fruit & veg department.
Its dairy aisle was “quite crowded”, not helped by several “abandoned” crates.
Our shopper had a long visit to Asda in Killingbeck, Leeds, which started with a queue to get into the retail park where the store is located, and ended with a wait to exit the car park.
She couldn’t see any staff managing customer numbers, but cleaning equipment was available for shoppers to sanitise trolleys, alongside hand sanitiser and posters to remind them to socially distance.
The store appeared “spacious, calm and ordered” at first glance, but staff restocking products led to unmanned trolleys blocking aisles and annoyed customers.
Asda’s checkout process was “nothing short of chaotic” as social distancing adherence started to slip and our shopper queued for almost 20 minutes – “the longest [I’ve] ever queued”.
This meant customers were “visibly frustrated”, especially as staff failed to direct them to the next available till. The checkout operator did not greet our shopper, but complained he was uncomfortable in his chair.
Tesco in Basildon came in last with a lack of social distancing from employees making our shopper feel uncomfortable. “They were [doing] their job as if oblivious to the requirements,” she said.
Our shopper found the number of store pickers difficult to cope with, which left her feeling “harassed” when trying to shop. “Some congregated together in centre of store, totally oblivious to customers trying to get around them. I have never been so irritated,” our shopper said.
Tesco was marked down on standards due to cages full of rubbish being left in aisles, alongside its “illogical” layout.
This week’s results:
|WEEK 14: Saturday, 12/09/2020 (8am - 11.00am)||Winner|
|Car Park (10)||10||10||10||10||9|
|Signposting (up to 1)||1||1||1||1||1|
|Queueing time to park (up to 2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Trolleys (up to 2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Queueing time from parking the car to enter the store (up to 3)||3||3||3||3||3|
|Feedback (up to 2)||2||2||2||2||1|
|The store is located in an extremely busy retail park so there was a short queue getting into the actual retail park but once I had entered Asda’s own car park I managed to find a car parking space fairly quickly. I noticed there were plenty of disabled and parent/child parking spaces available also. There were plenty of trolleys available and they were stacked neatly in a shelter externally to the store. There was a table situated outside the entrance containing wipes and disinfectant spray for the trolleys plus there was a poster regarding face coverings. I didn’t see any staff members helping to manage customers going into store at the time that I personally entered store. On the way out from the car park you had to exit via the Asda petrol station and I was stuck in a short queue again but it was fairly fluid and I got out in around five minutes.||No queues to enter the store. A security man stood in the entrance and said “Hello” and “Goodbye” to every customer. There was units inside and outside the store to sanitise hands and trolley/basket.||The car park was very busy when I arrived, however I didn’t have to queue to find a space or to enter the store. There were signs to indicate where the entrance was and a one way system in and out of the store was in place. Barriers and markings on the ground showed customers the way and how far apart they should queue, although there was no queue when I entered the store. A member of staff was monitoring the number of customers entering the store, and hand sanitiser was available at the entrance.||One entry and one exit to store clearly marked. No queues. Clear notices stating about social distancing, not entering store with cvid-19 symptoms, sanitising your hands before and after entering the store. Also was a stand with hand sanitiser and anti bac spray/paper towel to sanitise hands and trolley handles outside and inside store entrance.. There was a sign requesting customers to wear a face mask and if thet hadn’t got one to ask a store colleague for one. No barriers visible on entrance or exiting store. Nor any store colleagues outside or inside the entrance or exit.||There was plenty of space in the car park. Trolleys were being collected and cleaned before being stacked up. Signs to indicate social distancing but no staff to manage customers as they entered and left.|
|Store standards (20)||15||15||16||13||15|
|First impression (up to 5)||4||4||5||3||3|
|Feedback||First impressions upon entering store was that it was really spacious and looked calm and ordered. Wipes and hand sanitiser was available and there were notices dotted around the store.||Excellent first impression, security man visible, wipes and hand sanitisers available.||Hand sanitiser was available at the entrance and the number of customers entering the store was being monitored by a member of staff. There was another member of staff helping customers to use the scan and go system, which I would normally use to speed up the check out process. Although busy, the store had a calm and ordered feel. There were stickers on the ground to indicate social distancing, and announcements over the tannoy reassuring customers that safety measures were in place. The announcements also asked customers to be patient with staff and customers who were unable to distance or wear masks.||Plenty of space for all customers to enter safely. light and airy. Clean and organised neat displays. No obstructions. Hand sanitiser and anti bac with paper for trolleys. Signs re keeping 2m apart and social distancing. Blue stickers on floor reminding customers to social distancing.||There were stickers on the floor and signs at the tills but no announcements or staff managing customers. The store was quiet so no queues.|
|Displays (up to 3)||3||3||3||3||2|
|Availability and replenishment (up to 5)||4||4||5||3||4|
|Feedback||Availability was generally good and staff were busy restocking shelves all around the store. The frozen section where the ice cream was looked terrible - it had over frozen and the frost had not been cleared out - thank goodness the item was on promotion and I found one on the gondola end otherwise I would not have been happy to take from this freezer. There were some instances where the product had sold out - for example the Hovis bread 800g was on a multi-but so had sold out but was replaced with the smaller version.||The majority of the store was well stocked but there were some glaring areas, particularly in green grocery, which were devoid of stock. This included all the vegetables I intended to purchase i.e. chantenay carrots, courgettes and dwarf green beans. There were two employees replenishing and I called back at the end of my shop to check whether any of the products had been restocked but unfortunately they had not. The cheese / deli aisle was quite crowded when I first approached. Again I decided to call back. On my second attempt I noticed there was one female employee restocking the shelves. There were a number of food crates and a cardboard skip blocking a busy aisle.||A couple of items on my list were not available but overall the store was well stocked, and there were plenty of staff on the shop floor replenishing shelves.||Although stock was well stocked a few staff were filling shelves but were not social distancing from colleagues or customers. They were carry on their job as if oblivious to the requirements at the moment in store.||Staff were around the store restocking and collecting online orders but there were no obstructions. Cages were placed to the side and not in the way.|
|Obstructions (up to 3)||0||0||2||0||3|
|Spillages (up to 2)||2||2||0||2||2|
|Condition of the store in terms of cleanliness (up to 2)||2||2||1||2||1|
|Feedback||Store standards were generally very good - the fruit and vegetable section was clean and tidy with minimal bits on the floor. The street food section looked great - it was fully stocked and looked very clean and tidy. There were quite a few instances where the staff were causing obstructions with their trolley - I have provided a photo of the worse case example in household - someone had left an empty trolley so between that and the restocking trolley it was impossible to get past. The colleague did apologise however I feel they could have moved their restocking trolley so it was flush to the shelves - customers were getting quite annoyed at not being able to pass.||I felt the store should have concentrated on restocking the aisles where the majority of customers needed to pick up items, particularly fresh goods in green grocery and dairy.||There were three areas of the store where spillages had occurred and were not being cleaned up. The first was in the fruit and veg section next to the broccoli. A yellow sign had been placed, but this had fallen over and there was quite a lot of water on the floor (see photo). The second area was in the milk aisle where a spillage had occurred. Again there was a sign to warn customers but no-one cleaning it up (see photo). The third spillage was in the beauty aisle when I noticed something gritty under my feet. It looked like spilled washing powder and I alerted a member of staff in the next aisle who seemed unaware of it (see photo). The rest of the store was generally clean and in good condition.||Store was clean and tidy. The windows were clean the store appeared in good repair.A few cages full of rubbish making entrance to isles including isle 20 in centre of store end of isle, narrowing the entrance to isle. Nobody attending to them or near filling shelves There were just so many store pickers some walking along together chatting no Social distancing. Some congregating together in centre of store causing chaos and totally oblivious to customers trying to get around them. I have never shopped in Tesco and been so irritated by many isles being dominated by them, They only plus point was I could ask when couldn’t find items without having to find an assistant as they were on nearly every isle you turned. The isles in this store are not very wide so it felt like they were dominating the store The counters had very attractive displays on the fish and fresh meat. Customers were being served attentively too with no queues observed in this area. Thee was a large section of counter where fresh pizzas are normally displayed looking completely bare and unattractive. No notice so not sure if not doing this at the moment or if there was a problem. Looked unattractive between these two attractive displays. At the end of the fruit and veg isle there was an end display “our best in season” Displaying various types of Oranges apples and soft fruits looked very appealing to the eye. There was a display on an end in centre of store of bbq meat items from a branded range. There was also a seasonal isle with Christmas items of food||The store was tidy and well stocked. The windows as I entered the store via the escalator were a little dirty and dusty.|
|Store layout (10)||8||8||9||6||7|
|Did the store layout seem logical and intuitive? (up to 2)||2||2||1||2||1|
|Was it easy to navigate the store while also feeling safe? (up to 6)||4||4||6||2||4|
|Did the store offered any Click & Collect services? (up to 2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Shop Floor Service (20)||16||17||16||10||19|
|Product location (up to 5)||3||5||3||0||5|
|Staff politness/responsiveness (up to 5)||5||5||4||3||5|
|Feedback||I had assistance from lovely friendly colleagues Helen, Michelle and another two colleague whose name badges were obscured. Helen helped me locate the scotch egg - I was on the aisle already but couldn’t spot it. Michelle helped me find both the kefir and cream which were on the same aisle. A lovely female colleague with grey short hair and glasses was super helpful trying to locate the fish pie. It was not where either of us expected it to be; with all the frozen fish items however the colleague went to get advice from another colleague and came back to take me to where it should be.||Carl in green grocery explained that they were still expecting deliveries for some products and they still had to unpack some deliveries. He apologised for any inconvenience this caused. In some areas it was quite difficult to find any staff to ask about missing products.||I needed help in finding the hand soap and asked a member of staff in the beauty aisle to help me locate it. She was chatting to another member of staff and directed me to the correct aisle but did not offer to show me. I also needed help finding the tissues and stopped a member of staff walking past with a restocking trolley to ask for help. Again she pointed me in the right direction, although I found it difficult to hear what she said above the noise of the trolley on the floor and because she was wearing a face mask.||Although assistance was given by several assistants to locate items, due to the illogical placing of the items that I couldn’t locate myself. None offered or took me to the item all just either told me how many isles away or what no isle the item was in. Only the lady on drinks isle that helped re the cider and looked the item up on her hand held device to say it was oos.||Staff were polite and helpful. I asked Jennifer about the belvoir drink and she explained that they only had the stock on the shelves. I spoke to a male staff member in the veg aisle - dark hair and glasses, about the loose peppers. He explained that they only stock red or green loose and fetched a new tray of red for me.|
|Was it easy to find a member of staff (up to 3)||3||1||3||2||3|
|Were staff easy to identify through their uniform or name badges (up to 2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Staff presentation (up to 5)||3||4||4||3||4|
|Feedback||N/A||The majority of customer facing staff were waering masks or visors. The members of staff I spoke to ensure safe social distancing.||There were plenty of staff available on the shop floor so I didn’t have to go far to find help. Nearly all of them were wearing face masks, I only noticed one person who wasn’t, but only the staff in the chilled aisles wore gloves.||A lot of the staff that helped were store pickers as there was so many of them everywhere! Very little social distancing between the assistant and myself often getting closer as talking. Felt uncomfortable. Some staff wearing gloves some not. Customer servuces lady had no mask no lanyard to say exempt from wearing a mask and did not stand behind screen when talking to me, I didn’t like it or feel comfortable with that.||I felt safe sound the store. Most staff had masks or visits but a few had the mask so it was not covering their nose.|
|Tills and checkouts (20)||8||19||18||17||16|
|How well managed were the queues leading up to the till-operated checkouts in terms of maintaining order and social distancing? (up to 2)||0||2||2||1||1|
|How well managed were the queues leading up to the self-service checkouts in terms of maintaining order and social distancing? (Please observe after you’ve completed your shop, and include observations around attentiveness to customers requiring help due to flashing lights/unattended items in bagging area) (up to 2)||0||2||2||1||1|
|How long did it take to queue (prior to scanning) (up to 4)||0||4||4||4||4|
|Please rate checkout staff on their customer service and safety (up to 7)||3||6||5||6||5|
|Time for G33 items to be scanned (including payment) (up to 3)||3||3||3||3||3|
|Was the till receipt free of mistakes? (up to 2)||2||2||2||2||2|
|Feedback - please provide any further details/feedback on the tills and checkout:||The checkout process was nothing short of chaotic. There were eight checkouts, all open, but it just didn’t seem like enough for a store this size in peak time. There were more self-checkout tills available. I queued for 19 minutes to get to the till which is the longest I have ever queued. Customers were visibly frustrated. Staff were not directing customers to the till. People were in queues but I didn’t see any real evidence of social distancing being maintained. Barry served me on the checkout. He was a little jaded after quite a difficult customer before myself who was getting very frustrated at a product not scanning and the screen getting in the way of them handling the product. The colleague complained he was very uncomfortable in his chair and it was hurting his back; this was pretty much the greeting. They processed the transaction smoothly and efficiently and maintained eye contact throughout.||No queues at either self service tills or at any with a till operator. Most checkouts were open.||The tills area was calm and there were no queues. I was able to walk straight up to a till and begin unloading onto the belt. Stickers on the floor guided customers where to stand if they did have to queue. I was served by Georgia who was polite and efficient. None of the till staff wore gloves, and I only saw one wearing a face mask. He was an older man who may have been in the vulnerable age group. The self checkout area was calm with two members of staff available to help customers if needed (there were no flashing lights as I walked past).||Two staff members visible at end till area. There was no queues so no managing as such visible.Customers just putting their shopping on belts close to other customers. Staff not saying anything. Self service tills staff not social distancing when helping customers. Seemed to hav ethis area under control and attending to customer when lights flashing relatively quickly. Till assistant not wearing a mask but had a lanyard which clearly told me why. Frienldy prompt service. Assistant handled shopping with care and slowed down when had a lot to pack. Didn’t rush me. Did not tell me the total so had to ask. Made eye contact and was friendly||No staff seemed to be managing customers as they approached the tills, but there was only one other person waiting as I arrived there. I began to load once there was space but there was a problem with the customer in front so she had to wait for the supervisor. Items scanned efficiently and correctly.|
|Availability score (20)||17||10||16||17||17|
|Of the 33 items on your shopping list how many were:|
|Available (up to 20)||31||28||31||31||30|
|Out of stock (-2 per item)||1||5||2||1||0|
|Not stocked (-1 per item)||1||0||0||1||3|
|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)||The Hovis bread was out of stock in the 800g size but I managed to get a smaller loaf.|| Chantenay Carrots,
Dwarf Green Beans
Persil Bio (Non Bio)-Substituted
Cripps Apples(Jazz apples)-Substituted
|Sainsbury’s taste the difference all butter croissants. I substituted these with smaller Sainsbury’s croissants. Doritos tangy cheese tortilla chips. I did not buy a substitute for this item||Kopparberg Strawberry and LIme alcohol free cider 500ml Did not get a substitute as they only had packs of four smaller cans in this flavour for £3.50 this should have been £1||N/A|
|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)||The eggs were not stocked in a 12 size at this store but I managed to get 6 instead.||N/A||N/A||Balcerzat Farmhouse style smoked ham 100g They did not sell anything similar to this in terms of flavour or price so didn’t purchase an alternative||Yellow pepper (I purchased a red instead.
Belvoir lime and soda
Raspberry alcoholic ginger beer
|Please give any other details or info about your shopping trip, good or bad||Just an observation on the till receipt - it says I bought white wine but it was actually Prosecco - I am not sure how they categorise this product at HQ but this may need looking at?||A number of employees were obviously shopping for click and collect customers. Occasionally I spotted their collection crates “abandoned” at the end of aisles.
Generally it was a pleasant experience, the number of customers was lower than usual. There were some busy areas, but I avoided them initially and called back later when they were quieter.
|I found the store busier than usual, but then I don’t often shop on a Saturday. Despite being busy the shop felt calm and well ordered. It was a bit frustrating trying to find certain items due to the change around, but this is something I will get used to. I am looking forward to seeing the new Argos shop when it is open in October.
The store is currently undergoing a major change as a new Argos shop will be opening upstairs in October. This means that all the clothing and Clarks shoe shop which were based upstairs have now been moved downstairs. The upstairs is currently closed to customers, including the cafe. As a result I found it harder than usual to find the items I wanted as many aisles have been completely changed or moved to a different area of the store. The aisles are wide and there is enough room for customers to pass each other, although not all were observing social distancing. This was in part because the store was very busy and people were trying to get past other customers. There was tape on the floor but no one way system in place. I personally dislike one way systems as I often need to back on myself if I have forgotten something or been unable to find it. A click and collect service was available outside the store in the car park where customers were collecting their shopping from a Sainsbury’s van.
|A couple of items were not down isles that would expect them to be. The Schwartz packet mixes for spaghetti Bolognese was down the isle labelled canned food.
Cooked meats were down the isle marked ready meals. I wasted quite a bit of time trying to locate these two items and had to ask in the end.
The freezer isle I had to walk down all the freezer isles as no signage at the end and couldn’t read signage near cabinets. Would be helpful to have signage at ends like other isles
On entering Car park there was a big sign re half price food in café however as on a bend uphill you have to pass quite quick couldnot read detail but presumed was out of dat eand probably August. Did not see the café so presumed was upstairs. On exiting car park downhill saw it said September Mon to Weds 50 per cent off food. But too late as I was leaving.I felt that although everything was in place staff were not Social distancing enough and there were far too may staff not well trained possibly new doing the store picking. I felt harassed trying to shop with them getting in m way. There should be consistency re gloves as many didn’t have gloves so made e think wonder if they are meant to be wearing them and are not Not sure if staff are no longer wearing name badges but did not see one staff member with one on.
The opticians and pharmacy had taped off areas. The opticians was to stop customers just wondering in staff came to speak to customers the social distancing could be maintained. The pharmacy was to ensure customers stood back far enough from the counter and screening. I liked this as a customer as would feel safer.
|There was a sign offering a ‘carry to car’ service.
This was a pleasant store to shop in. Aisles were wide enough and well stocked. The assistants I spoke to were friendly, polite and helpful.
|TOTAL SCORE (100)||74||79||85||73||83|