Tesco Droylsden Lucy Ridges

Source: Lucy Ridges

Tesco’s store had a pleasant atmosphere, with ‘friendly, helpful staff’

Tesco Droylsden won this week with 70 points, beating its rivals in almost every category.

The Manchester Road store had “a very pleasant atmosphere with friendly, helpful staff and easy to locate items”.

First impressions were good, thanks to an “excellent car park”. Inside, the store was well stocked with just a few gaps.

It was tidy and clean, with wide aisles and a straightforward layout.

There were some minor criticisms. The food to go section was not very large and the entrance was a little cluttered. Plus, there were two out-of-stock items: the courgettes and the finger rolls (although hot dog rolls were available as an alternative to the latter).

But our shopper “could not fault the store” and congratulated the management on a very efficient staff team.

Staff were polite and helpful, showing our shopper where the item was located, checking availability on the store system or offering an alternative item.

Second-placed Morrisons Neath came some way behind with 52 points. Availability was better than in most of the other stores, with just one item out of stock and three not stocked.

However, our shopper was disappointed in the state of the store. “It looked like it hadn’t been tidied up from the previous day,” she said.

The messiness made our shopper question whether the fresh food counters were clean.

On the plus side, checkout was smooth, with lots of empty tills and no queues.

Sainsbury’s Clarkston Road in Glasgow scored 51 points.

Service was excellent: staff were hard at work re-stocking shelves but were still happy to offer assistance. Both staff members approached checked the stockroom for certain items.

There were some signs of the store being run down, though. There were few in-house services and our shopper noted the store was not well lit.

There were some empty boxes left on shelves and crates were obstructing the aisles.

There were also no manned tills open, so our shopper had to go through the self-checkout.

Fourth-placed Waitrose South Hampstead scored 47 points.

The car park was difficult to navigate and inside, there were few promotions or points of interest. There was also a broken freezer in the store, which limited stock.

Meanwhile, staff were of limited helpfulness. Only one out of the four staff members asked took our shopper to the correct aisle, and she didn’t make much attempt to assist when the item was not on the shelf.

Our shopper had to wait four or five minutes for a checkout, while the self-checkout also had long queues.

Last-placed Asda Accrington scored just 33 points. The store was chaotic and our shopper found the displays “bombarded my senses”.

It felt like a “pile it high” model, with untidy shelves and a lot of stock. What’s more, not all of the layout was intuitive.

The store was quite busy and some of the aisles were difficult to access because of restocking trolleys and staff on click & collect missions.

There were few staff available to ask for help. One was “very curt”, saying that he had just started work and “didn’t do inventory anyway” when asked about the Ben & Jerry’s.

The warehouse door was left open for 10 minutes with a loud, intrusive automated message sounding during this time.

Finally, the checkout assistant seemed quite stressed as only three tills were open, and did not speak to our shopper.