Tesco DSC_5029

Source: Emotion Picture Photography

Tesco Pontypool took the store of the week title with a respectable 79 points. The store racked up full marks on its car park and shop floor service, as well as scoring well on tills and checkouts.

The store was “well presented” with excellent first impressions. Staff were easy to find and all “extremely helpful”. Several checked for missing products in the stockroom, while another looked up a product on her handheld device, and suggested stores nearby that would stock the item.

There was no queue on the checkout and the checkout assistant was “delightful”. “We had a nice conversation and he reminded me to show my Clubcard”, our shopper said.

Second place went to Sainsbury’s Merton, which scored 69 points. The store excelled on availability, boasting this week’s only full basket.

It also scored well on tills and checkout, despite a poor start. Our shopper found no staffed tills were available, and only self-service checkouts were free.

However, one of the staff members noticed our shopper looking, and opened a till. “She seemed genuinely happy to do this,” our shopper said.

The experience was let down by poor store standards, however. In the fruit & veg section, some of the box packaging had not been properly removed, and the bananas looked battered. Several shelves were messy with products “not where they ought to be”.

Waitrose Havant notched up 68 points. The store scored full marks on shop floor service, and highly on store standards.

Our shopper’s first impression was boosted by a “striking arrangement of flowers” and “great September offers”. Aisles were “easy to navigate and free from obstruction”.

There were plenty of staff, and when approached they “were friendly, professional and courteous”. Staff checked products on their handheld devices, “showed empathy and gave advice” on when products might become available.

It fell down, however, on a poor checkout experience. The shopper had to queue for two to three minutes and there was an error with the receipt.

Morrisons came fourth with 63 points. The Mitcham store scored well on shop floor service as well as tills and checkouts.

Our shopper spoke to multiple staff members, who were “lovely and helpful”. They walked our shopper to the right aisles and checked if the products were out of stock or not stocked. One was highlighted as being “particularly helpful”, pointing out the different alternatives available for a product.

However, store standards left our shopper with “mixed feelings”. The store was “generally clean and tidy”, but there were lots of restocking trolleys, which “posed from challenges in the narrower areas”.

The end of aisle displays were “underwhelming”. None were seasonal or relevant, and most were labelled as clearance, “piled together on the shelves”.

Last place went to Asda, with just 20 points. The Birkenhead store had “very poor stock” and scored poorly on service.

Staff were “rude”. Our shopper asked for an item and was told to look for it herself. Another staff member told our shopper “I don’t think we stock this!” in response to a query.

Checkout service was “mediocre at best”. There were only two checkout assistants, and the rest was self-service, so our shopper had to queue.

Five items were out of stock, resulting in an availability score of zero. Overall it was “very disappointing”.