Tesco is our least favourite supermarket, according to a new survey. It may be the biggest supermarket in the country, but it seems we are dragging ourselves round, and we're loathing every second; because the figures show that we'd really rather be anywhere else.
The research was conducted by Market Force Information for the Grocer magazine, which interviewed 6,800 people about their shopping preferences: asking them where they shopped and whether they would recommend it to others. It revealed that Waitrose is our favourite place to shop, followed by Marks & Spencer and Aldi. Sainsbury's took fourth place, followed by Morrisons, Asda, and the Co-operative. Tesco trailed in last.
What went wrong?
The study measured six aspects of the shopping experience that MFI has identified as key in building loyalty. It says that a supermarket that delivers in all six areas is three times more likely to be recommended to others. Tesco scored poorly in all of them.
It came in last place for cashier courtesy and store cleanliness. It was seventh for the availability of items and the ability to find them; and it was in sixth place for specialty department service and checkout speed. Waitrose was in first place for all categories apart from checkout speed - which went to Aldi.
Part of the problem is simply due to the nature of Tesco stores. It has invested in enormous hypermarkets, which naturally make items more difficult to find, and the store itself harder to keep spotless. Many aspects, however, are far more about local management and morale, which is the only way to explain why Tesco cashiers were considered the rudest.
Is this the beginning of the end?
These results may go some way to explaining why Tesco is losing ground to its competitors. In 2006 it controlled almost a third of the market. In April Kantar Worldpanel calculated that it had fallen to 28.4%. It's no wonder: if it cannot provide the shopping experience we look for, and it is falling short of the kinds of prices offered by the discounters, we have to ask why we would want to shop there.
However, it's not fair to write Tesco off just yet. It's worth highlighting that it's still the biggest supermarket in the country, and takes more than a quarter of every penny we spend on groceries. For all the talk of the growth of players like Aldi and Lidl, they are still dwarfed by this supermarket giant.
And while this survey shows that shoppers dislike the shopping experience in Tesco, other studies have shown precisely the opposite. Back in March a smaller survey by VoucherCodesPro named Tesco as the nation's most popular grocer. Shoppers said they particularly valued the Clubcard scheme and the sheer choice on offer.
But what do you think of the shopping experience at Tesco, and do you think the brand's days are numbered? Let us know in the comments.
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