Who we visited

costcutter Bletchley, Milton Keynes

jones convenience store Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire

One stop Albert Road, Portsmouth

spar Hazel Grove, Stockport

tesco express Terriers, High Wycombe

How they performed

The Costcutter in Bletchley was tidy, but dim lighting made the floor in particular look a little dirty. Shelves were well stocked and all the items were easy to find. However, the price listed on the shelf for the Coca-Cola was different to that marked on the bottle. Staff members were polite and very approachable.

Products were easy to locate at the small, compact Jones Convenience store in Bradford-on-Avon, thanks to logical grouping and good flow around the store. Just one member of staff was on duty at the time of our visit. When not serving he was busy ensuring shelves were well stocked. The bacon was only stocked in a 6-pack, but all other items were available.

Shelves were attractively presented at the One Stop in Portsmouth and it looked as though a lot of effort had gone into the appearance of the small store. However, it was let down by a discourteous checkout assistant who failed to acknowledge our shopper at any stage of the transaction.

While the interior of the Spar in Stockport looked a little tired, the new store owners were friendly and efficient and made our shopper feel extremely welcome. The shop was well merchandised with extensive point-of-sale information clearly highlighting prices and promotional offers. The Coca-Cola was on offer at 2 for £2.30, while there was 100% extra free on Tetley tea. 

Linked to a garage on the main road into High Wycombe, the Tesco Express at Terriers had strong offers on the unsmoked bacon (reduced from £2.48), Tetley tea bags (80 + 80 free) and Coca-Cola (2 for £2.60). The checkout assistant was polite and efficient and offered to pack our shopping.