TV Highlights

Supermarket Wars

Channel 4 - 8pm

Who's in it?

The brilliantly named Harry Wallop peeks behind the scenes at the big supermarket battle that's raging between the "Big Four" and their low-cost upstarts.

In a nutshell

Once upon a time, it was all very simple: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda divided up the food market between themselves, each offering their own distinctive retail atmosphere, each hitting us with a barrage of celeb-fronted TV ads to remind us of their permanence. Except, even these giants can't rule the roost for ever. There is no such thing as permanence in commerce, and now their empires have been invaded by two plucky pretenders to the thrones: Aldi and Lidl.

How is it that these discount chains have crept up, like thieves in the night, to steal a huge share of the market? Harry Wallop is out to find out in this fascinating look at the way we shop today. He'll be looking at the secrets of Aldi and Lidl's success, and how the Big Four are trying to fight back with their apocalyptic price war. But can we take their deals at face value?

What's the verdict?

A documentary about supermarkets may not sound like a gripping proposition, but this promises to be a weirdly engrossing expose of how massive chains operate, and the worries that keep their bigwigs awake at night. Harry is sure to pack a Wallop.

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07-07-2011