Every week The Grocer’s mystery shoppers also visit convenience stores to check out the price of 10 commonly bought fast-moving food items across all grocery categories

Who we visited
Sainsbury’s Local Kings Road, Harrogate
Co-operative Group Harleston, Norfolk
SPAR Uphall Station, West Lothian
Londis Groce Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells
Tesco express High Wycombe South Express

How they performed

Not only did the Sainsbury’s Local in Harrogate provide a full shopping basket, but both the unsmoked bacon (two for £4.50) and the Coca-Cola (two for £2.60) were on offer, producing a combined saving of £1.78. The store was clean and well presented and shelves were well merchandised and attractively displayed. 

Our shopper bemoaned the lack of signposting at the Co-op store in Harleston, where items were very difficult to locate. Products were placed on the shelves haphazardly with little attention to presentation, although staff were polite and offered to pack the goods purchased. The bacon was on offer at two for £4, but the Tetley tea bags were out of stock. 

Servicing the railway station in Uphall, East Lothian, this Spar store attracts a lot of passing trade as well as loyal, local custom. Shelves were generally well merchandised, although both the butter block and Weetabix 24-pack were not stocked. Goods were automatically packed by the cheerful, efficient staff.

At the Londis in Tunbridge Wells, many of the items on our list did not have prices displayed, although staff were quick to provide this information when asked. For a small store, the shop was well stocked, although it had a slightly neglected feel to it with some ambient products looking as though they’d been on shelf for a long time.

The Tesco Express store in High Wycombe was extremely clean and tidy, despite being a hub for local school children. Our shopper noted special offers on Hula Hoops 7-pack (bogof) and Pringles (2 for £2). Whiskas catfood was only available in the supermeat variety.