Sainsburys steak meat aisle Sutton Credit Nova Photo Atelier

Source: Nova Photo Atelier

Our Sainsbury’s shopper appreciated the store’s spacious, clean aisles

Sainsbury’s Sutton ended a winning streak for Tesco with a stress-free shop on the busy Friday before the bank holiday weekend.

The tidy superstore and helpful staff notched up a respectable 72 points – marking the ninth win of the year for Sainsbury’s.

On arrival, our mystery shopper appreciated the “spacious”, clean aisles and clear signage, which made their journey around the store stress-free. Restocking trolleys in the bakery and fresh aisles had also been carefully positioned by staff to cause minimal obstruction.

Our shopper had no difficulty finding store staff, who had a “positive approach” and friendly demeanour.

The experience was only let down slightly by the checkouts. Just two manned tills were open, which resulted in a mounting queue, though a “very pleasant” cashier apologised for the wait.

Our shopper was also impressed by how the assistant handled discrepancies between the shelf and checkout price for three items. Two came through cheaper than the shelf label, due to being on Nectar Price promotion, which had not been signposted.

Our shopper was unable to find four of the items, three of which were not stocked.

Morrisons Woosehill in Wokingham came second with 67 points. The highlight was the staff, who were “helpful” and “professional”.

Our shopper was also impressed by the “fabulous seasonal display” of summer general merchandise. However, chaotic restocking meant the rest of their experience was “disappointing”.

Almost all of the aisles were “an obstacle course” of crates. Six items were unavailable, four of which were not stocked. Our shopper also noted “half-empty” fresh food counters.

Waitrose’s Alderley Edge store was third with 62 points. The small store was logical and easy to navigate – however, it was let down by “somewhat disorganised” restocking and an “untidy” shop floor.

Store staff were well presented and helpful, and one partner was singled out for accompanying our shopper around the store to find items.

No queue and a pleasant cashier meant our shopper’s experience ended on a positive note. Six items were not stocked, with one unavailable.

Tesco’s “basic” Portadown store was a close fourth, with a score of 61. The visit didn’t get off to a great start, with our shopper sitting in a long queue to enter the car park, due in part to a McDonald’s nearby.

However, once they entered, they found it well presented – even if there were a few gaps in the fresh veg and meat sections and “limited space” for deals and displays.

Our shopper once again faced a queue at the checkouts, with only two manned tills open.

However, store staff helped to return some of the shine. One politely helped our shopper with some queries, while a “very nice” cashier apologised for the wait at checkout.

Asda’s South Woodham Ferrers superstore in Chelmsford was last with 52 points. Our shopper was annoyed by numerous and hard-to-navigate unmanned restocking trolleys throughout.

One staff member noted the store was midway through a “change around”, explaining the slightly cluttered and unclear shop floor.

However, the store had the highest availability of the week, with just two not-stocked items and one out-of-stock.