brilliant bit of PR from Sainsbury's last night in the form of I'm Running Sainsbury's on Channel 4. in the first of four episodes, Becky Craze aimed to prove that her idea of bagging a meal would not only deliver on Sainsbury's feed your family for a fiver efforts, but would help the coffers of the supermarket giant, which we were reliably informed are to the tune of £30k per minute.
described by C4 head of factual
entertainment Andrew Mackenzie as "a look at the psychology of shopping and an opportunity to understand
the institutions where we spend our money" the show – made by Silver River – was a genuinely balanced view of life working at the retailer.
overnights are reasonable – pulling in 1.6 million viewers and an 8% share, with a further
284,000 watching on catchup service Channel 4+1 an hour later (source MediaGuardian). and the show seems to be generating a fair amount of chatter online.
positives were the genuine support that colleagues seemed to give each other (especially in the stores) and the enthusiasm of Becky to make a real difference to the company for which she works. negatives were the patronising looks and comments from more senior figures within the company. but with such negatives came credibility, the programme had an authenticity which I suspect will do well for the retailer.
but the real insight for me was the growth of own label. Sainsbury's products in Sainsbury's now number 15,000 lines and account for half of all the sales in the supermarket. one in every two items sold in Sainsbury's is own label. and they're clearly holding their margin – the own label reportedly count for – nearly – half of all revenues). enough to make any doubters of the continued rise of the retailer think twice.
next week should be fun, the show will feature an enthusiastic employee who takes the store to the customer – "it's not really stalking" she observes, "it's targeting".