Which? survey names favourite UK supermarkets

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Waitrose, Iceland and Marks & Spencer have topped a Which? supermarket consumer satisfaction survey.

Shoppers gave Waitrose the award for best in-store experience, with Tesco and Asda trailing in eighth and ninth place respectively.

The consumer group said Iceland was voted best for online, closely followed by Ocado, with Morrisons in third.

The M&S Simply Food chain won the convenience store category. Which? surveyed more than 7,000 UK shoppers.

Customers were asked to rate stores and online operations based on their experience in the past six months on categories such as quality, value for money, service from delivery drivers, how easy it was to find products, and whether shoppers would recommend the retailer to a friend.

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, with customers saying that its spacious store layouts made groceries easy to find.

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image captionFresh products go a long way to satisfying shoppers, Which? said

M&S came second in the in-store category, with Aldi and Lidl placed joint third.

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

Asda was at the bottom of the in-store table in ninth place, and was also joint last with Sainsbury's and Waitrose in the online rankings.

Analysis: Value, convenience and experience

Supermarkets do pay attention to the Which? survey, says Paul Martin, head of retail at consultancy firm KPMG. He believes there are three key conclusions to draw from the report.

"Number one, Waitrose winning is not a surprise." Shoppers are most interested in value, convenience and experience, and Waitrose is "very good at experience", he says.

Secondly, Iceland was best for online shopping because its website is user-friendly, customers don't have to trawl through thousands and thousands of products, and the delivery service is good.

And thirdly, "we still underestimate the power that Aldi and Lidl have". As well as competing on price, they are "trying to capture the middle-class shopper", says Mr Martin, who also co-chairs the Retail Think Tank.

Must do better

While Asda was seen by consumers as being generally good value, its food quality was rated as average.

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' need," he said.

An Asda spokeswoman said: "We know that we need to do a better job for our customers and all our colleagues are working hard to make a real difference.

"We're getting better every day and we are confident that customers will be pleasantly surprised if they shop with us today compared to when this survey took place last year - and we'll be even better tomorrow."

Supermarket survey - in store experience:

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Answers based on consumer satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the store to a friend

  • Waitrose 74%
  • Marks & Spencer 73%
  • Aldi 72%
  • Lidl 72%
  • Morrisons 70%
  • Iceland 69%
  • Sainsbury's 67%
  • Tesco 66%
  • Asda 62%

Supermarket survey - online experience:

  • Iceland 77%
  • Ocado 76%
  • Morrisons 74%
  • Tesco 74%
  • Asda 71%
  • Sainsbury's 71%
  • Waitrose 71%

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