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Secret Shopper Report: Cumbria

Friendly helpful service

Our Secret Shoppers are scouring the highways and byways for the best of GB’s health food and natural lifestyle independents. Giving marks out of 10 in each of five sections, our shopper visited Cumbria to see how this market town’s health store measures up.

The Better Retailing Awards are run in conjunction with the Health Food institute and reward excellence in independent health store retailing. The winner is selected from the stores visited by the Better Retailing secret shoppers throughout the year.

Store location: Cumbria
Natural pain relief

First Impressions

The store is situated in the heart of the town centre and is very easy to find thanks to its eye-catching green exterior and prominent name. It also has an informative window display which gives potential customers an instant idea of what can be found inside.

Verdict: 7/10

Store Layout

The store is bright, airy, clean and surprisingly spacious. It’s easy to navigate and there’s plenty of room to move around. Although the store is a little on the small side, it is very well stocked and offers a number of leading ranges. These include Quest, Natures Aid, Lamberts, Natures Plus, Viridian and Solgar. The store also offers a great selection of wholefoods, bodycare and eco-household options.

Verdict: 8/10

Personal Attention

As soon as I enter the store, I’m greeted with a cheery hello from a member of the store’s team. This is soon followed up with an initial offer of help. I let the assistant know I’m going to have a bit of a general browse but may need some advice shortly. I don’t feel rushed in any way and enjoy looking around for a few minutes before heading over to the counter to get some advice. The store assistant that welcomed me explains she is currently training so her more senior colleagues would be better placed to provide advice. I explain that I have joint pain due to a chronic injury and would like to take a supplement to ease this. They recommend taking a glucosamine supplement. Additionally, I’m advised that rosehip would also be beneficial. They recommend a Lamberts Glucosamine Complete supplement which sounds great (and also contains rosehip) but unfortunately it’s not suitable for vegetarians as it contains shellfish. This isn’t a problem, however, as they immediately offer vegan alternatives in the form of Quest Glucosamine and Natures Aid Rosehip supplements. I’m impressed with their helpfulness and speed at providing other options. I’m more than happy to give the two supplements a go.

Verdict: 9/10

Check Out

The check out service is friendly and very helpful. At the same time as I’m moving towards the counter to go ahead with my purchases, the store receives a Natures Aid delivery. The assistant tells me they may have another vegan pain relief supplement option within the order that they would like to show me. I wait at the counter as they unwrap the delivery box and they soon locate the Natures Aid Ginger, Turmeric and Bromelain supplement. It sounds good and is reasonably priced but I decide to stick with the glucosamine and rosehip as I think they will be the best fit for my current needs. Also, I’m advised to take six rosehip tablets a day for the first three to five weeks so I’m happy to keep to just the two supplements! I don’t enquire if the store has a website as I’ve already checked it beforehand. As a result, I’m also aware they offer nationwide mail order and local home delivery.

Verdict: 9/10

Overall Impression

I’m quite impressed with the store and the excellent advice provided. The staff really have taken their time to understand my needs and talk through their recommended options. I can see myself returning here when I’m next in the area. For anyone that lives in the Cumbria area or is (like me) visiting the region, I’d definitely recommend popping in.

Verdict: 8/10

Total Marks 41/50

Read the previous Secret Shopper report here...