Grocery giant Tesco has been voted Britain’s worst supermarket by consumers, according to an annual survey.
Consumer group Which? has revealed that, of the nine major supermarkets, Tesco was rated the bottom with a customer score of 45 per cent, as shoppers expressed disappointment over pricing, the store environment, the quality of the grocer’s fresh produce and its customer service.
Over 11,000 Which? members took part in the study and rated the supermarkets on customer satisfaction and whether they would recommend shopping there to a friend.
Meanwhile, upmarket supermarket Waitrose, which achieved sales of £300 million in the run-up to Christmas and New Year, was rated top of the table with a customer score of 82 per cent.
Receiving five-star ratings for customer service and the quality of its fresh produce, Waitrose overtook competitors such as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda which saw ratings of 59 per cent, 58 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
As the horsemeat scandal continues to develop, Tesco has been forced to drop suppliers and suspend sales of implicated products amid further testing and, while this may have affected customer opinion, Which? noted that other supermarkets involved in the scandal have fared well in the survey.
Discount grocer Aldi, which was initially implicated in the investigation by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, came second in the table with a 74 per cent customer score while Lidl came third at 69 per cent.
Both supermarkets were the only two to receive a four-star rating for pricing, with 97 per cent of respondents rating them highly for good value.
Richard Lloyd, Which’s Executive Director, explained: “Which? research shows that rising food prices are one of consumers’ top financial worries, so in these tough economic times it’s understandable that supermarkets scoring well for value for money are being ranked so highly in our league table.”
In terms of how supermarkets can improve, 37 per cent of respondents said that their biggest irritation was not being able to get a true price comparison due to differing unit measurements.
Simplicity is preferred with relation to discounting as 55 per cent favour straight discounts over special offers and Lloyd warned that supermarkets must do more to aid the financially strapped shopper.
“Our survey also found that consumers think supermarkets are not doing enough to help shoppers on tight budgets, with only one in five Which? members saying they trust retailers to charge a fair price for food,” Lloyd said.
“We want supermarkets to make a firm commitment to treat their customers fairly by scrapping misleading price promotions and introducing clear, consistent unit pricing so busy shoppers can spot the real bargains.”