Morrisons has been unveiled as the surprise winner in Britain's fierce Christmas supermarkets battle for the best shopping experience.

Analytics firm Uncrowd said the retailer's deli and butcher's counters - mostly dropped by its rivals - made it a standout choice with 497 outlets nationwide.

Morrisons was the most attractive for five metrics: 1) what previous experience does to drive return; 2) how the environment sets you up to spend; 3) store guidance and wayfinding; 4) finding solutions to shopping questions, and 5) delivering on brand values.

The store also edged out other big names for meat presentation, shop appearance and in-store inspiration - and was only beaten on price offers by Aldi.

Here are the full results:

Here are the rankings as Morrisons came top with a score of 745/1000

  1. Morrisons: 745
  2. Marks & Spencer: 733
  3. Sainsbury's: 731
  4. Waitrose: 729
  5. Tesco: 725
  6. Asda: 720
  7. Aldi: 661
  8. Lidl: 622

Uncrowd had 17 quantitative analysts use an app called CrowdAF to make 72,450 observations on secret visits to 69 standard supermarket stores across England between December 14 and 19.

These visits were compiled in a report called 'Sleighing It: UK Grocery at Christmas' which gave percentages representing 'frequency of observation' - meaning that if all observers observed X at retailer Y, then that would be a 100 per cent score.

They found that Morrisons was observed to be more generous than its rivals on discounts with 89 per cent observing '20 to 50 per cent discounts' in general, and 44 per cent observing 'a few pounds in general'.

Aldi scored 63 per cent and 38 per cent respectively, while market leader Tesco was observed to mostly be 'less than 20 per cent' discounts.

While the store's appearance for Christmas was not key to winning overall, Morrisons came first with a score of 59.1 per cent ahead of Asda at 57.2 per cent and Sainsbury's at 56.8 per cent.

However, the experts also pointed out that they "have a question over the relative attractiveness of Morrisons' compared to Lidl, Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury's outside of Christmas."

The report said: "The rest of the year, is discovery, inspiration, great deli and fresh as attractive when cash remains tight for almost everyone?"

They also pointed out that Marks & Spencer dominates in what it described as the 'top-up festive treats' category, and was well ahead of Waitrose when considering 'putting premium options into an attractive 'buy me' setting'.

Aldi won the cheapest Christmas supermarket across almost all price aspects.