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waitrose and partners trolleys

Waitrose has emerged as the leading light in terms of customer service in the Covid-era.

The upmarket retailer has dominated its supermarket rivals in the latest Grocer 33 year, which concluded this week. It won 21 of 50 store of the week awards. It backs up Waitrose’s equally strong showing during the UK’s national lockdown from April to June last year.

Waitrose stores scored an average of 79.1 out of 100 this year, up from 67.7 last year.

“Our partners, together with their John Lewis colleagues who supported Waitrose shops when department stores were closed, have really gone above and beyond this year,” said Waitrose executive director James Bailey. “I’m proud of all they’ve done to achieve such high standards of customer service in very challenging circumstances and I’d like to thank each and every one of them for the professionalism and dedication, which has helped us win this award.”

Tesco retained its availability crown. The UK’s biggest retailer achieved 95.9% availability this year, up from 93.5% last year. It achieved nine full baskets, up from four last year when there were long periods when availability was impacted by pre-Brexit stockpiling and coronavirus-related panic-buying. Waitrose came second with 93.4% while Morrisons had the lowest availability at 90.9%

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “In a year when customers have needed access to groceries more than ever, we are delighted to have won the award for best availability. We know how important this is to our customers.”

Asda continued to beat its full assortment rivals on price. It has now picked up the price award for 24 years straight. Asda provided the cheapest basket on 33 out of 50 weeks.

Morrisons was runner-up with seven. Aldi and Lidl featured three times and won on all of those. Sainsbury’s won twice, as did guest retailers Iceland and Amazon.

“We know that many of our customers are having a tough time financially due to the pandemic so making sure they receive great value every time they shop with us remains our key strategic priority,” said Asda chief merchandising officer Derek Lawlor.

“We are delighted to be named the UK’s lowest-priced supermarket once again by The Grocer and will continue to do all we can to keep prices low for our customers.”

The Grocer 33 winners will receive their trophies at the Grocer Gold Awards, which have been rescheduled and will now take place on Tuesday 5 October. The shortlist for the remaining 29 categories will be published in the week beginning 21 June.

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