This week was a tough one as I’ve been a loyal Sainsbury’s customer for over 15 years and I came out of the store fuming. Mostly I take advantage of the home delivery service for ‘ big shops’ as it makes a real difference to how I cope on a day-to-day basis with my MS. However, now and then I have to pop in ‘for a few bits’ so thought would take the opportunity to check out the in store service instead. I now wish I hadn’t.



Friendliness of Service

Shop Floor 4/10                  Checkout 9/10

Staff seemed friendly enough, although mostly to each other as they chatted in the aisles. I asked one assistant who had his head buried inside the trolley he was unpacking, where I could find Fairy Liquid and although polite and courteous in his response, he did not offer to show me the location or seem particularly happy in his work. In stark contrast, the checkout assistant was lovely and friendly. I asked quite a few questions about what I had observed in the supermarket and her responses were very interesting. To keep her anonymity, I’ll name her Debbie but if Sainsbury’s are interested in following this up, then they can contact me for more detailed information and photographic evidence.



Efficiency of Service 

Shop Floor 4/10                  Checkout 9/10

Checkout efficiency was excellent with all purchases scanned quickly and without issue. However I did need two replacement bags for life and even though three assistants were a stone’s throw away, they were too busy talking amongst themselves to notice that ‘Debbie’ was trying to get their attention. In the end she had to get out of her seat and go to find replacement bags from another part of the store. When ‘Debbie’ returned, I questioned the role of her colleagues, as it was not clear what they were supposed to be doing and if they were supposed to be there at all. ‘Debbie’ informed me that there had been a change in system which was supposed to make things fairer and mean that duties were divided equally but it always seemed to be the same people who ended up standing there doing nothing. No one ever questions it so nothing ever changes.



Speed of Service

Shop Floor 4/10               Checkout 9/10 

I think it’s worth mentioning that there were lots of staff in the store working, some more productive than others, but I just didn’t feel I could ask for help in finding various products and if I did, then I would just be interrupting their conversations! As a result, my shopping would have been completed quicker had I felt able to do so. However, instead, I just had to keep walking around until I found what I needed. Service at the till was very quick. I joined a short queue and the only reason I was there longer than I needed to be was because ‘Debbie’ was answering my questions about the Sainsbury’s staffing systems.


Quality of Product 9/10

I can’t fault the Sainsbury’s products and although the home delivery team always make excellent choices when picking fresh fruit and vegetables, there’s nothing better than choosing your own in store. I bought quite a few Sainsbury’s own brand products and have found that they are just as good, if not better than the main brands. One of the reasons I’ve not changed supermarkets in all this time is that I just prefer the Sainsbury’s own products to other leading supermarket brands. I’m also a big fan of the regular 25% off wine promotions!



Overall experience 5/10

I was thoroughly disappointed when I left the store particularly after hearing explanations for why some staff felt it was appropriate to chat in the aisles whilst others just got on with their job. In addition, I was annoyed that I felt I couldn’t interrupt conversations to ask questions and this annoyance was fuelled further by the fact that I couldn’t understand why if staff are behaving in this way, why there has been no management intervention. This score for overall experience would have been far lower without ‘Debbie’ and the quality of the Sainsbury’s products themselves.


This was a Mystery Shop in order to share my observations. I’m hoping my next visit will be a more successful one- and if it’s not, I’ll be highlighting my concerns quite clearly to the Store Manager!

Until next week everyone! Cin cin!

Lady Janey x



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