Asda comes in last in latest Which? survey

Leeds-based Asda came ninth in a poll that was topped by Waitrose
Leeds-based Asda came ninth in a poll that was topped by Waitrose
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Asda was the worst performing supermarket based on store experience according to the latest influential Which? survey.

Leeds-based Asda came ninth in a poll that was topped by Waitrose, closely followed by Marks & Spencer. Bradford-based Morrisons improved from eighth to fifth position.

Which? said that despite Asda being the cheapest supermarket for 11 months in 2016, it still came last.

"Being cheap isn’t enough to satisfy customers," the Which? report said.

"Asda has failed to impress shoppers, coming last in the in-store survey and joint last for its online offering. It didn’t score well for store appearance or tidiness this year, and the hygiene of its delivery service came in for criticism for having dirty crates after a whistleblower raised concerns – something which Asda says it is now addressing.

"The quality of own-brand items and fresh produce isn’t quite good enough to write home about either, getting an average three stars.

"Having few substitutions (or sensible ones, at least) can tip the scales when it comes to the popularity of an online supermarket. Asda has failed in this sense, with one of the worst substitution ratings (sharing the bottom place with Sainsbury’s)."

In contrast, Which? highlighted the improvements that have been introduced at Morrisons since CEO David Potts took the helm.

"Morrisons’ customers told us that its well-planned store layout makes it easy to find products, and they rated its fresh and own-brand goods highly," the report said.

"This is also good news for customers of the new Amazon Fresh online grocery service as Morrisons supplies the fresh food.

"Morrisons online notches up a respectable joint-third place in our ranking and was one of only two shops to get five stars for its special offers. Morrisons also gets a decent three stars for substitutions. And if you’re nostalgic for Safeway – which Morrisons took over in 2003 – you’ll be pleased to hear that it is now reviving the brand name on a range of products that will be sold to independent retailers."

In terms of online shopping, Iceland topped the poll, closely followed by Ocado.

Which? asked more than 7,000 shoppers about their experience of supermarkets they had shopped at in the previous six months - both in store and online.

Waitrose topped the in store supermarket survey for the third year in a row, just beating Marks & Spencer, while Iceland's online service received the highest customer score​.

Which? had asked shoppers to rate stores based on factors such as their appearance, how easy it was to find products and the overall quality of fresh products.

The overall score stores received was also based on whether or not customers would recommend them to a friend.

The ranking for supermarkets' online services was based on factors such as the relevance of substitutions for products, value for money and the service received from delivery drivers.

Which? said customers were particularly happy with Iceland's convenient delivery slots and friendly drivers, helping it to top the online category for the second year in a row.

The consumer group also said Waitrose's helpful staff had won over shoppers in the in store survey and customers said its spacious store layouts made groceries easy to find.

M&S's regular "dine in" offers which often include a meal for two and a bottle of wine were also found to be a particular hit with shoppers, helping it to take second place in the in store category.

Aldi and Lidl were placed joint third, behind Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, in the in store supermarket survey.

Which? said Aldi and Lidl were fairly "evenly matched", with both scoring particularly well on value for money.

Which? also asked more than 4,700 people about their experience of using convenience stores, with M&S Simply Food stores coming top in that category.

Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor, said: "With concerns over rising prices the competition among supermarkets is fiercer than ever.

"While value for money remains a top priority, in-store appearance and the availability of quality and fresh products can also go a long way to satisfying shoppers' needs."