How they performed

Although the Weetabix was sold out and only 6-packs of bacon were available, the Co-op shop in the village of Longridge near Preston impressed our shopper who said it was clean, well stocked and had attractive displays. The checkout assistant said hello and goodbye but did not offer to help pack our shopper's bags.

The Costcutter on Gillbent road, Cheadle, was described by our local shopper as being a 'quart in a pint pot'. Although the store was clean and tidy, the decor looked slightly dated. The staff were friendly and managed to quickly restock the shelves in the cramped conditions. Only 5-packs of bacon were sold and the Heinz beans were on a two-for-£1 offer.

Aside from a few pieces of onion peel on the floor, the Nisa store on Coventry road, Yardley, was clean and tidy. The shelves were well-stocked and nicely presented, and it was easy to locate all the products. There were a few shelf-stackers moving up and down the wine aisles with packing trolleys to restock, but they did not cause any obstruction.

There was high drama at the Sainsbury's Local in Cobham, Surrey, as the checkout operator kept bellowing at drivers on the petrol forecourt to stop using their mobile phones. As our deafened shopper approached the surly assistant he even appeared angry to learn she didn't have a Nectar card!

The busy, modern Tesco Express store in Wendover near Aylesbury was welcoming but it had sold out of Mars bars, possibly because of a three-for-£1 offer.

As at regular-sized Tesco stores, the Hovis loaf had increased by 8p from last week. There was a 50% extra-free deal on the teabags.