THE MYSTERY SHOPPER

ASDA Aintree

Disclaimer: Any photos posted within this post belong to ASDA unless otherwise stated. I will not post photographs of my own as I will not publicise pictures in case they show colleagues and/or shoppers. This trip is based on a shopping trip on 22nd January 2020 and depicts the service and standards on that day and does not represent how the service is run daily. This is just a snapshot in time.


22nd January 2020 at 11am and it was time to do that weekly shopping trip. The bags were loaded in the car and we headed off. Upon arrival we realised we didn’t have a pound coin however there was a trolley that was not connected so it worked out okay. As we headed into the store we put our details in and picked up one of the ‘Scan as you go’ handsets. If you have never used one of these handsets, it’s worth it, just remember to scan everything as it’s so easier to forget to scan.

So off we go and the first section you get to is the non-food section. I have to say this was fully stocked to the max with single item pallets also on display. They looked so good it made me grab a bottle of windscreen washer for the car…it was only £2…bargain! After filling (and scanning) a lot of non-foods including washing powder, bleach and toilet roll, it was then time to carry out the main grocery shop.

As a person who has been in retail for over 15 years, I understand the need for the shelves to be full as items cannot sell if they are in the back, however what I witnessed yesterday had me a little speechless. I was after some beans and spaghetti but could we get down there? No. What I saw was about 7 or 8 managers putting beans out. I know beans are a key item to many households however there were more pressing issues that need dealing with at the bakery, which I will come on to in a minute. After squeezing down the aisles with other customers we got our products and moved on. Every product we wanted was in stock. The signposts around the store were accurate and the plinth ends were full. It was then we went to the bakery…

The bakery racking was full and probably the fullest I’ve ever seen when comparing to Tesco and Sainsbury’s, however that wasn’t the issue. There was perhaps a reason it was so full…..and that reason was undercooked bread. Every loaf picked up felt doughy and even the crusty cobs were not crusty. This could be an issue when proving or when baking but somewhere along the line something went wrong. No-one is going to eat doughy bread so for those unaware who purchased and then made the trip back for a refund, I feel sorry for. This is not the quality that is expected from an ASDA Bakery.

After doing our shopping it was time to pay. Here we got to beat the queues and head to the shop as you go pay area. I was asked by the headset if had any issue with unscanned. I said no and then a prompt was triggered for a partial rescan. I flagged down the colleague on self scans as I guessed they were running both like on previous visits. I told him I also had a security protected set of knives. The spot check was done and the knives deactivated. The colleague then left, however after a quick upload, I needed a colleague to approve the sale. Surely that colleague could have approved the sake while there and not got back to self scan to talk to the woman who had now joined him. After that was sorted, we headed for the exit to end this visit.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Areas for Improvement:

  1. Don’t overcrowd aisles with colleagues to shoppers struggle to shop
  2. Ensure all bakery items are cooked properly before putting on shelves
  3. Self scan colleagues to be more alert