waitrose plants garden

Staff at Waitrose in Saltash were ‘extremely helpful’ in locating products

Waitrose picked up its first store of the week title since early May thanks to a strong showing for its Saltash branch.

The store picked up an impressive 84 points with particularly high marks on availability: it was only a packet of duck breasts away from a complete shopping list. After enquiring with the shop floor team, our shopper learned the product had been on deal and had sold out quickly as a result.

Staff were all presentable and friendly. There was some restocking taking place on our Sunday morning visit but staff were careful to keep their trolleys out of the way. When approached for help, shop floor staff were “extremely helpful and accompanied me to where the product was”.

The checkout operator was also friendly and efficient. Overall the store was bright and had a “summery feel”.

It was a close battle with Sainsbury’s for the second spot, but Tesco in Hemel Hempstead took the title with 76 points.

It was the only store to deliver a full basket this week and shelves seemed well stocked across the board.

There were plenty of staff on the shop floor and although our shopper found the layout a little confusing, she was able to find all 33 items on our list without assistance.

Sainsbury’s Swindon came in just a point behind Tesco. Overall our shopper found the store well stocked, and they managed to bag 30 items. There was one out-of-stock and two not-stocked products.

Our shopper relayed one disappointing incident in which a restocking trolley was creating an obstruction. It was manned by two members of staff who ignored her when she said “excuse me”.

However, aside from that, staff were friendly and helpful – and our shopper particularly praised the “brilliant” checkout operator.

Morrisons in Peckham managed just 59 points, largely due to poor availability.

Our shopper returned home with just 27 products, due to five out-of-stocks and one not-stocked item. What’s more, some items could only be found in unopened boxes above the shelves.

He felt the store looked cluttered, including the area where the café used to be, which was being used to store bulk packs of water or cooking oil.

Despite these issues, it was overall “a nice, relaxing shopping experience” with some “good pop music”.

Our shopper sought assistance from five members of staff throughout his visit and all were “friendly, professional and willing to help”.

Bottom of the pile was Asda in Crawley, with a particularly low score of just 39.

Our shopper’s visit didn’t start well with litter in the car park and a confusing entrance.

Once inside, the floors were dirty and there were a lot of restocking trolleys around the store, as well as online orders being picked.

In terms of availability, there were two out-of-stock products, along with two items not stocked at the store.

Staff were “very scruffy and didn’t really seem bothered when I asked for items I couldn’t find on the shelf”, our shopper observed.

The poor customer service continued at the till, as the operator did not greet our shopper or engage in conversation.

Her overall takeaway was that she was “very underwhelmed by the shopping experience. Staff didn’t seem to take care or seem very interested in helping, which was a shame.”