Waitrose Milngavie

Source: By Murrant

The relatively quiet Waitrose store featured an easy-to-follow layout

The “clean and well stocked” Waitrose in Milngavie, near Glasgow, easily took the top spot this week with 78 points.

The store was relatively quiet with an easy-to-follow layout, and staff were helpful. One assistant helped our shopper find the stuffed mushrooms, taking her straight to the correct aisle, while another helped locate the cereal bars.

Our shopper didn’t have to queue at the checkout, either, as a number of tills were open. The checkout assistant was “friendly enough” but did not engage in any conversation.

There were some minor downsides. Many staff were restocking throughout the store, causing obstruction in one aisle. And availability was a little low: the chives and watermelon chunks were out of stock and three items weren’t stocked.

However, there was still a big gap between the frontrunner and second-placed Morrisons, which scored just 59 points.

The store had the best range of services this week – offering click & collect, food to go and food counters – while the deli counter looked well stocked.

But service fell short. Another customer needed assistance, and staff were slow to help: “It did feel that the speed and efficiency of customer assistance for this kind of incident could have been more diligent.”

Store standards were also a little lacking. Some of the display tables obstructed the trolley entryway, while some of the fruit & veg sections were empty, including the potatoes.

On the plus side, around 90% of the tills were open and our shopper only had to queue for a minute. Staff were helpful, too – the checkout assistant immediately came to the aid of another shopper who needed help with a product.

On availability, three items were out of stock, including the watermelon chunks. One item was not stocked.

Next up was Asda Small Heath in Birmingham with 54 points. There were lots of staff restocking around the store, which came in useful when our shopper needed help.

However, there were a lot of gaps on shelves, which reduced the attractiveness of the counters and displays. And staff gave mixed responses to queries: some were very helpful but some appeared not bothered.

There were only three tills open, but this was enough as most people were using the self-checkouts. Our shopper waited two or three minutes to be served, and the checkout assistant was friendly.

Availability was poor, though. The store scored zero as six items were out of stock, and three were not stocked.

Fourth-placed Sainsbury’s in Leeds scored 47 points, let down by its illogical layout and slow checkout.

The bigger manned tills were closed in the store, so our shopper had to wait six or seven minutes to be served. Despite the till not being designed for a large basket of shopping, the staff on the checkout were helpful.

On the plus side, Sainsbury’s availability was the best of the week. Only the watermelon chunks were out of stock and four items were not stocked.

Last place went to Tesco Rutherglen. The layout was poor, and the store offered no click & collect or food counters. There was a food-to-go section, but it was not very appealing.

Our shoppers also noted a spillage of whiskey on one aisle: “It was getting mopped up and the smell was very strong.”

Our shopper was surprised by the number of gaps on the shelves. A shocking 11 items were out of stock, including the chives and scotch pancakes.