The Grocer - Waitrose, Woking-8

Waitrose Woking was a small store but availability was strong

Waitrose Woking took first place in this week’s shop with 87 points.

Although the store was quite small, it offered full availability: our shopper was able to get all 33 items on this Friday evening shop. The only item not on shelf was the milk, but a staff member was restocking this section and the milk was on his trolley.

The store was easy to navigate and clean, with a variety of Christmas stands including chocolates, Advent calendars and Christmas trees.

Our shopper highlighted the well stocked meat counter and deli, which had lots of tempting food. The fish counter looked clean and fresh but was fairly empty, which may have been due to the 20% off fish on Fridays promotion.

Shop floor service was excellent, with helpful staff who were easy to find.

Finally, there was a four to five-minute wait on the checkout due to only one till being open. However, a member of staff invited our shopper to join a newly opened checkout.

The checkout assistant was polite but did not ask our shopper for their Waitrose card.

Second place went to Sainsbury’s Cannock with 80 points. The store offered excellent shop floor service, and two staff members were singled out for helping our shopper find products.

Service at the checkout was equally strong. There was no queue, while the checkout assistant was friendly and efficient and asked for our shopper’s Nectar card.

On availability, one item was not stocked but there were no out of stock items.

Next up was Morrisons Dundee with 72 points.

The displays at the entrance impressed our shopper, and there was an attractive fish counter with appealing offers for Fish Friday.

On a less positive note, several unattended restocking trolleys were in the aisles and the doors to the storage area were open, which caused a draught.

Availability was fairly strong: one item was out of stock and one was not stocked.

Asda Liverpool and Tesco Clapham Common came in joint last place with 53 points.

Our shopper noted a large number of gaps on shelves at Asda, although the fruit & veg section was quite well stocked.

This led to poor availability: seven items were out of stock and two not stocked.

Store standards were generally poor – the paintwork was peeling in places, and there were grubby marks. There was a very large mouldy patch on the ceiling near the tills.

Shop floor service was mixed. While one staff member took our shopper straight to an item and made friendly conversation, others simply pointed in the general direction of items.

The Tesco shop got off to a bad start with no trolleys at the road entrance, except two which had been abandoned.

The shelves had some gaps and some products were in the wrong places, and it was difficult or impossible to see prices for some items.

This patchiness was reflected in availability: three items were out of stock and three were not stocked.

The staff were working hard to restock the shelves. Although they were mostly happy to assist customers – resulting in a high shop floor service score – in several cases, it was impossible to access parts of the store due to cages and trolleys.

The store generally had a logical order and was well laid out, except for the freezers. These were in the middle of the store, so our shopper had to retrace her steps.