Secret Shopper Report: Leicester

A bright, welcoming atmosphere

Launched in 2012, our Secret Shoppers are seeking out the best (or worst) of GB’s natural health and lifestyle independents. This time our spy has travelled to Leicester to ask for healthy snacks and natural beauty gift sets.

Store location: Leicester
Issue enquired about: Healthy crisps and natural beauty gift sets

First impressions

It was a couple of weeks before Christmas when I visited the store, and the window display looked nice and festive, with some gift ideas and Christmas food items on display. The store is in a good location in a pedestrianised part of the city centre so it’s easy to find, and not out of the way when you’re on a general shopping trip.

When I walked in the store felt very light, bright and clean looking. It is a good-sized store, but manages to give the impression of having plenty of stock without being at all cluttered. The lady behind the till asked me straight away if I needed any help with anything, and another member of staff offered help as well when I walked to the back of the store.

Verdict: 9/10

Store layout

The store is really nicely laid out, with a gradual progression from beauty and toiletries near the front to natural household cleaning items, then fridges and freezers full of food, then round to supplements and health items. It manages to feel well stocked without being cluttered, and there’s a good range of different items so that if you want to live a healthy and natural lifestyle you can buy everything you want in one place. All the stock also feels nicely spaced so that it’s easy to wander around the aisles and find what you’re looking for.

Verdict: 8/10

Personal attention

I was impressed with the attention from the staff. I was asked soon after entering the shop if I needed help, and also offered help by another member of staff. While I was in there, another family came in looking for a particular supplement, and a staff member spent a lot of time showing her the different brands and explaining the difference between the liquid versions and the capsules.

I told the member of staff that my children were obsessed with crisps and I wondered if there was a healthier alternative available, and she pointed me in the direction of the stand of Eat Real snacks. I chose some lentil crisps that are also gluten free, and thought they were very reasonably priced. I also asked if they had any gift sets of natural beauty products that might make good Christmas presents: I was specifically looking for a set of small bottles of Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner. The shop assistant showed me what they had, which was a set of all the different shower gels and one of the soaps, but I felt that given the time of year they could have had more gift items available as Christmas present ideas.

Verdict: 7/10

Check out

Check out went very smoothly – the sales assistant didn’t try to sell me additional products but she did helpfully offer a bag, although I already had a big bag with me and didn’t need one.

Verdict: 7/10

Overall impression

I really enjoyed my trip to this store. It’s in a good location, and has a bright, welcoming atmosphere and friendly, helpful staff. It’s also well stocked and I would definitely go back again.

Verdict: 9/10

Total marks: 40/50

Read the previous Secret Shopper report here...

Read about the winning store in the 2014 Secret Shopper Awards here...