Inside the Supermarket is a new documentary series on BBC One, showing the ins and outs of running Britain’s second largest supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s.

With Sainsbury’s entering their 150th year of running and the retail market ever-changing, there has been more pressure than ever on the supermarket to succeed.

But as Inside the Supermarket showed, running the business is no easy feat. Tensions ran high and tempers flared in the episode, leaving viewers shocked by the realities of retail.

So, what happened in the first episode of Inside the Supermarket?

Screenshot: Inside the Supermarket E1 – iPlayer

What is Inside the Supermarket?

Inside the Supermarket is a new six-part series following the workers, management and business-side of Sainsbury’s in one of its most pivotal years – the 150th anniversary.

The first episode broadcast on Thursday, November 7th and will be shown weekly until it concludes on Thursday, December 12th.

The six episodes will centre on some of the year’s biggest sale dates. This includes Mother’s Day, Easter, and the run up to Christmas.

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Inside the Supermarket outrage

While watching, viewers were quick to share their disapproval of Sainsbury’s management. The show was so talked about on Twitter that it was trending!

There were multiple incidents in the first episode that got people talking. One of the moments surrounded cake-testing. When choosing and approving the 150th anniversary cake, Claire – who was in charge of the cake’s production – was incredibly dismissive of and rude to the cake creator.

Other moments that shocked viewers included the revelation that they import all of their flowers from far-away countries such as Kenya and Colombia. As Sainsbury’s were pushing their flower sales for Mother’s Day, there was little consideration of the environmental cost.

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Screenshot: Inside the Supermarket E1 – iPlayer

No women in the boardroom

The cake incident wasn’t the only thing that struck viewers. In the boardroom meeting of general managers, many picked up on the fact that there was only one female member present.

One viewer Tweeted: “Only one female manager in amongst all those males?!” Another Tweeted to Sainsbury’s, “how many women are in that meeting room? 1?” Someone on the comment thread chipped in that Sainsbury’s should be “ashamed of yourselves.”


It definitely did not reflect well on the company having the gender ratio so off-balance.

But it wasn’t just the gender ratio that bothered viewers but the attitude of the managers which one viewer called “horrific.” Here’s hoping next week will see the Sainsbury’s team in a slightly more positive light!





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