Co-op convenience stores rated by Which? annual poll

Shoppers have voted Co-op Food the nation's sixth favourite convenience store in the 2017 survey

Co-op Food has come sixth in a list of 14 convenience retailers in the Which? best and worst supermarket satisfaction survey.

The UK consumer association’s annual poll includes ratings for convenience, in-store and online retailers. In the convenience category – the only one to include it – Co-op Food customers rated store appearance and the quality of fresh and own-label products. But it lost marks on its range, value and stock availability.

M&S Simply Food came top in the convenience category. Mutual retailer Nisa, which the Co-op Group is in the process of purchasing, was placed ninth in the table. McColl’s, which bought 298 stores from the Co-op Group in 2016, came bottom.

The UK convenience sector achieved sales of £38bn in 2017, and the total number of smaller convenience stores has reached 16,500 – a growth of 21% over the past five years.

“Convenience store sales are booming and these smaller shops are becoming a bigger feature of people’s everyday lives as more of us use them to top up our bigger supermarket or online shop,” said Alex Neill, managing director of Which? Home Products and Services.

“Our survey shows shoppers believe M&S Simply Food and Little Waitrose have raised the bar with tidy stores and a great range of fresh products, leaving rivals like McColl’s looking poor value for money.”

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The surveys, compiled in October 2017, asked 6,800 members of the UK public about their grocery shopping experience over the previous six months. The overall customer score is a combination of each shopper’s customer satisfaction with a supermarket they’ve used and the likelihood they would recommend it to a friend. Customer scores aren’t directly linked to individual star ratings.

Aldi was rated the nation’s favourite in-store market, with customers rating the retailer’s special offers, its fresh and own-label products and the ease of finding items on its shelves. Waitrose, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, was knocked off the top spot, which it held for three years, and dropped to fourth position. Its customers gave it a two star rating for its value for money, in contrast to Aldi’s five.

Among online supermarkets, Iceland claimed the top spot for the third year running, which it shared with Ocado for the first time. Iceland received five stars for its driver’s service and the availability of delivery slots – with three quarters (76%) of shoppers saying their most recent order was delivered on time.

“With food costs rising it seems as though shoppers have felt the pinch and are voting with their feet and wallets,” added Ms Neill.

“Aldi and Lidl have won over their customers with value for money. The big four supermarkets need to up their game or risk losing their customers to other supermarkets who are doing a better job of giving people what they want.”

  • Read the full Which? report here.
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