- Safeway Inc.
company_name = Safeway, Inc.
company_type = Public (NYSE|SWY)
company_slogan = "Ingredients for life"
foundation = 1915 (
American Falls, Idaho)
Steve Burd, CEO & Chairman| industry = Retail (Grocery)
revenue = 42.3 billion USD (2007)
net profit = 888.4 million USD (2007)
[ [http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/64/64607/FactBook08.pdf Safeway Factbook 2008] ]
profit = 888 million USD (2007)
stores = 1,743 (end 2007) [ [http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/64/64607/FactBook08.pdf Safeway Factbook 2008] ]
num_employees = 201,000 (2007) [ [http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/64/64607/FactBook08.pdf Safeway Factbook 2008] ]
| products =
bakery, dairy, deli, dry cleaning, frozen foods, fuel grocery, lottery frozen meat, pharmacy, photographic processing, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor, flowers, and Western UnionTM| homepage = [http://www.safeway.com/ www.safeway.com]
Safeway Inc. (NYSE|SWY), a
Fortune 500company, is North America's third largest supermarketchain, with, as of December 29, 2007, 1743 stores located throughout the western and central United Statesand western Canada. [ [http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/64/64607/FactBook08.pdf Safeway Factbook 2008] ] It also operates some stores in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern Seaboard. The company is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. "Supermarket News" ranked Safeway No. 4 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $40.5 billion. [http://supermarketnews.com/profiles/top75/ 2007 Top 75 North American Food Retailers] , "Supermarket News", Last accessed May 8, 2008.] Based on 2005 revenue, Safeway is the tenth-largest retailerin the United States. [ [http://www.stores.org/pdf/06%20JULY%20TOP%20100.pdf Top 100 Retailers: The Nation's Retail Power Players (PDF)] , "Stores", July 2006.]
eelig and Skaggs Merger
Sam Seelig Company was founded in April 1912 by Sam Seelig who opened a single grocery store in
Los Angelesat the corner of Pico and Figueroa streets [Site is now the location of the Los Angeles Convention Center http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Pico+and+Figueroa,+Los+Angeles] . The chain had grown to 71 stores by 1922. [Los Angeles Times, Jan 26 1922] Sam Seelig left the company in 1924 to enter the real estate business, forming Sam Seelig Realty. As a result of Seelig's departure, the company held a contest in 1925 to develop a new name, the result of which was Safeway. [ Safeway Annual Report 1966 ] The original slogan was "an admonition and an invitation" to "Drive the Safeway; Buy the Safeway." [Seelig's Chain is now Safeway, Los Angeles Times, Mar 15, 1925, pB8] By 1926 Safeway Stores had 322 stores centered in Southern California,
The Safeway chain expanded further in a merger engineered by
Charles Merrillof Merrill Lynchon July 1, 1926 of Safeway with 673 stores from Skaggs United Storesof Idahoand Skaggs Cash Storesof California. The merger immediately created the largest chain of grocery stores west of the Mississippi. [Safeway stock out tomorrow, Los Angeles Times, Nov 14, 1926, p17] Charles Merrilllater left Merrill Lynch, for a period of time, to run Safeway in the 1930s. At the time of the merger, the company was headquarteredin Reno, Nevada, but in 1929, Safeway relocated its headquarters to a former grocery warehousein Oakland, California. Safeway headquarters moved into Emil Hegstrom's Mutual Creamery Building on East 14th Street and remain there until the move to Pleasanton.
Skaggs Stores (see
Skaggs Companies) had its start in 1915, when Marion B. Skaggspurchased his father's grocery store in American Falls, Idaho, for $1,089. The chain, which operated as two separate businesses, Skaggs' Cash Stores and Skaggs United Stores, grew quickly, and Skaggs enlisted the help of his five brothers to help grow the network of stores, which reached 191 by 1920. On completion of the Skaggs/Safeway merger, M.B. Skaggs became the Chief Executive of the business. Skaggs retired from the Safeway board of directors in 1941. [ Safeway Annual Report 1926, p2] [ Safeway Annual Report 1966]
financingsupplied by Merrill Lynch, then began to aggressively acquire numerous regional grocery storechains in a rollupstrategy. Early acquisitions included significant parts of Piggly Wigglychain as part of the break up of that company by Merrill Lynch and Wall Street. Early acquisitions included H.G. Chaffee of Southern California(84 grocery stores), MacMarr (a California chain also assembled by Charles Merrill), owned by stores the Sanitary Grocery Company of Washington D.C.(including 49 Piggly Wigglystores), Daniel Reeves of New York(498 grocery stores), National Grocery of New Jersey(84 grocery stores), the Arizona Grocery Company, and its subsidiary Pay'n Takkit Stores, Newway Stores in El Paso, Texas, Sun Grocery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Bird Stores of Kansas City (including 224 Piggly Wigglystores). The companyalso acquired the 91 west coast Piggly Wiggly Pacific Company stores and the 174 stores of Piggly Wiggly Western States Company. Most acquired chains retained their own names until the mid 1930s. Hegstrom's a chain of Oakland, Californiastores controlled by Mutual Creamery owner Emil Hegstrom acquired by Safeway in the mid 1950's.
The number of stores peaked at 3,527 in 1931, when the numerous smaller
grocery storesbegan being replaced with larger supermarketstores.
New Yorkoperations were sold in 1961 to Finast. [Safeway Annual Report 1961]
International expansion was an early part of the Safeway's growth. The company expanded into
Canadain 1929 through the acquisition of nine stores (which became Canada Safeway), into the United Kingdomin 1962 with the acquisitionof the 11-store John Gardner Limited (which became Safeway plc), into Australiain 1963 with the acquisition of three Pratt Supermarkets (which became Safeway Australia, and into Germany in 1964 with the acquisition of two Big Bār Basar (Big Bear) stores. The company also had operations in Saudi Arabiaand Kuwaitin a licensing and management agreement with the Tamimi Groupduring the 1980s. In 1980, Safeway acquired the 31-store Jack the Slasher chain in Queensland, Australia, and in 1981 acquired 49% of Mexican retailer Casa Ley.
In 1947 the company's sales exceeded $1 billion for the first time. By 1951 total sales had reached nearly $1.5 billion. In 1952 the company adopted the now famous S logo.
In 1959, Safeway opened its first store in the new state of
Alaska, being the first major food retailer to enter the market. In 1963 Safeway again opened stores in Hawaii, having exited this market in 1934. [ Safeway Annual Report 1966, p10]
1980s: Takeover and sell-offs
Following a hostile takeover bid from
corporate raiders Herbert and Robert Haft, the chain was acquired by KKRacting as a white knight in 1986. With the assistance of KKR, the company was taken private, and assumed tremendous debt. To pay off this debt, the company sold the West Germany and UK divisions (Safeway plc, which was absorbed by Morrisonsin 2004), Dallas, Salt Lake City, El Paso, Oklahomastores, and the Liquor Barn divisions in 1987, and the Kansas City, Little Rock, and Houstondivisions in 1988. (The Houston division was bought by a management-led group and became AppleTree Markets.) Safeway's national presence was reduced to Northern California and several western states, plus the Washington, D.C. area. Safeway Australiawas sold to the Australian-based Woolworths Limitedin 1985. Altogether, nearly half the 2,200 stores in the chain were sold.
In Southern California, Safeway sold most of its stores to
Vonsin exchange for a 30% interestin the company. Safeway pulled out of established markets like Los Angeles and San Diego, and diminishing operations in Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, and Sacramento. Save-Martpurchased the few remaining Fresno stores in 1996.
In late 1987 Safeway acquired the
Woodward'sFood Floors, which operated in the western Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
The company was taken public again in 1990.
1990s and beyond
In the late 1990s, Safeway began to again aggressively acquire regional chains, including
Randall's Food Marketsin Texas, Carrsin Alaska, and Dominick'sin Illinois. In 1997, it exercised its option to acquire control of Vonsin Southern California.
In 2001, Safeway acquired the family-owned
Genuardi'schain, which had/has locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This was a failure at first, with local shoppers not pleased with Safeway's changes. Safeway also created subsidiary "Blackhawk Network", a prepaid and payments network, a card-based financial solutions company, and a provider of third-party prepaid cards.
In October 2003, a strike was called by members of the
United Food and Commercial Workersat Vons stores in Southern California. The strike (and concurrent lockout at Albertsons and Ralphs) lasted until the end of February 2004.
In January 2006,
Dateline NBCconducted a grocery store investigation of ten of the largest grocery stores in the nation, and found Safeway to be the most hazardous grocery store, with 25 critical violations per each ten visits. The company reported to NBCthat "Safeway has 'continued to enhance and re-energize store adherence to our food safety and sanitationstandards.'"
In November 2006, speculation rolled around as "
The Chicago Sun Times" reported that Sears Holdings Corporationmay buy Safeway. [cite web | publisher=Chicago Sun-Times | title=Sears may have eye on Safeway | url=http://www.suntimes.com/business/130385,cst-fin-sears09.article| date= November 9, 2006| accessdaymonth=3 February | accessyear=2007]
Other Store Formats & Concepts
drug storeoperations, formed in 1962 under the Super S brand, which were sold in 1971. The company also made a number of attempts to re-used older, smaller store sites, opening Food Barn, a discount grocery outlet, and Liquor Barn, a discount liquor outlet, in the 1970's. Safeway also trialled Town House in Washington D.C., small stores targeting apartment dwellers, and a gourmet store concept, Bon Appetit in San Francisco.
In 1969 Safeway formed a
joint venturewith Holly Farms Poultry Industries (now part of Tyson Foods) to open "Holly Farms Fried Chicken Take Home" in an effort to diversify into fast food restaurants and compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken. The first store opened in Colonial Heights, Virginia in August 1969. [Safeway Annual Report 1969]
July 23, 2007, a city council hearing in Annapolis, Maryland, convened to consider a citywide ban on plastic shopping bags. These bags are made of polyethylene film, a petroleum product that persists in the environment for up to 1,000 years, allegedly killing wildlife in the processFact|date=September 2007. The bill in question seeks to protect marine wildlife in Chesapeake Bay. Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of Jacques Cousteauand director of an environmental education group called Earth Echo, attended the hearing in support of the bill. Also present at the meeting was a lobbyist for Safeway, who vehemently opposed the measure in the heated rhetoric of the war on terror: "At the hearing, a lobbyist for Safeway called the bill un-American, saying it would take choices away from consumers." [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/24/us/24plastic.html?ex=1186372800&en=c7f0195c3cdfb0cc&ei=5070] Plastic bags are a widely recognized cause of plastic waste pollution in the oceans and rivers of the worldFact|date=August 2007. According to the Sierra Club, " [a] few years ago the Algalita Research Foundation took samples from a wide swath of the Northern Pacific Oceanand found it to be a plastic soup containing 6 pounds of plastic trash for every pound of plankton" [http://www.sierraclub.org/sustainable_consumption/articles/bags1.asp] . Despite claims made by major purveyors of plastic shopping bags (like Safeway) about the recycling potential of polyethylene film garbage such as plastic grocery bags, only 1% of the trillion plastic bags made worldwide are ever recycled.Fact|date=August 2007 "Safeway and Albertsons maintain collection bins for used plastic bags. In 2003 Safeway collected 7,000 tons of plastic grocery bags, pallet-wrap plastic, and dry cleaners' bags. The plastic is sold to a company that makes Trex, lumber-like boards generated from plastic bags and 'reclaimed pallet wood and waste wood.'Composite lumber made partly with plastic is not considered to be recyclable even though it may last a long time". [http://www.sierraclub.org/sustainable_consumption/articles/bags2.asp] .
Safeway says it is working hard to be a more environmentally friendly corporation by teaming up with CCX to make the world's first and North America's only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry and trading program. Governor Schwarzenegger publicly applauded Safeway for this push to help clean up the air. “Safeway has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership and the State of California for these innovative environmental programs which are making a significant contribution to reductions in overall carbon emissions and corporate energy consumption. By reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, Safeway is aggressively working to reduce the company's carbon footprint, address climate change and reduce air pollution”, said Safeway's CEO in a
September 27, 2006, news release. [ [http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=64607&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=909665&highlight= Safeway news release, September 27, 2006] .] They are also working to make their fleet run off of biodiesel fuel only. They are making all fuel have 20% biodiesel fuel now [http://www.environmental-expert.com/resultEachPressRelease.aspx?cid=4797&codi=25963&level=0&idproducttype=8] .
Safeway has a total of 1,521 stores in the United States and 222 stores in Canada, over 80% of which are located in Western states and provinces. The greatest concentration of Safeway branches is in
Californiawith 521 stores (including the 295 branded as Vons), followed by Washington State with 168 stores and Coloradowith 122. In Canada, the greatest number of Safeway locations is in Albertawith 94 stores and British Columbiawith 76 stores. [ [http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/64/64607/FactBook08.pdf Safeway stores by location] , Safeway Inc.]
The company's most notable private label brands from the past are Lucerne, Empress, Scotch Buy, and Townhouse. Of these four brands only Lucerne remains in the United States; Lucerne and Empress remain in Canada.
Today, Safeway Select is the company's signature private label that offers an
upscalerange of products, a sub-label Primo Taglio is used for more upscale deli products and "Lucerne" remains as the main dairyline. In 2006, Safeway introduced a new line, with organically grown and processed line of products named O Organics. In late 2007, the Safeway Select: Signature line was renamed Signature Cafe.
Some of the brands in use today are:
*Basic Red — Mostly paper products, but includes large tubs of ice cream.
*Bright Green — Environmentally friendly cleaning products.
*Butcher's Cut, The — Secondary meat brand used for pre-packaged cold cut and raw meats.
*Captains Choice — Seafood brand.
*Dairy Glen — A second dairy brand. It is also used for the two gallon tubs of ice cream.
*Deli Counter, The — A secondary deli brand used mainly for cold cuts.
*Diablo Creek — Wine
*Eating Right — Brand used for healthier eating using labels such as low fat, low sodium, etc.
*Firefly Ridge — Wine
*Gourmet Meat Shoppe — Frozen meat products.
*Jerseymaid — A carryover dairy brand from Safeway's acquisition of
Vons, still used due to its reputation.
*Lucerne — The main dairy brand, used for ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and milk.
*Manor House — Another frozen meat line used for turkeys during the holidays.
*Mom to Mom — A full line of baby products.
*O Organics — Line of organic products.
*Oven Joy — Bread brand that is neither Safeway, O Organics, Eating Right nor Safeway Select.
*Primo Taglio — The upscale deli cold cut brand.
*Priority — Pet care brand.
*Produce Stand, The — Pre-packaged produce such as baby carrots, salads, and raisins.
*Ranchers Reserve — The upscale meat brand.
*Remarkable — Used for the Texas based stores.
*Safeway — This includes non-branded items like Go2 Cola, that have unique names, and are not a whole brand to themselves. It is also used on items that just have descriptive titles instead of names.
*Safeway Select — These are mostly the upscale items.
*Signature Cafe — Deli Line of soups, side dishes and pre-made salads.
April 18, 2005, Safeway began a $100 million brand re-positioning campaign labeled "Ingredients for life." This was done in an attempt to differentiate itself from its competitors, and to increase brand involvement. Steve Burd described it as "branding the shopping experience". [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4331/is_200503/ai_n15098252 Safeway ready to unveil new 'branding' campaign] , "Supermarket News", March 2005.]
The launch included a redesigned
logo, a new slogan "Ingredients for life" alongside a four-panel life icon to be used throughout stores and advertising. Many locations are being converted to the "Lifestyle" format. The new look was designed by Michigan-based Avizia Inc. In addition to the "inviting decor with warm ambiance and subdued lighting", the move required heavy redesign of store layout, new employee uniforms, sushiand olivebars, and the addition of in-store Starbucks kiosks(with cupholders on grocery carts). The change also involved differentiating the company from competitors with promotions based on the company’s extensive loyalty card database. At the end of 2004 there were 142 "Lifestyle" format stores in the United States and Canada, with plans to open or remodel another 300 stores with this type of theme the following year. "Lifestyle format" stores have seen significantly higher average weekly sales than their other stores. By the end of 2006, shares were up proving that this rebranding campaign had a major impact on sale figures.
Safeway has fuel stations at some stores along with a club card discount. In July 2008 Safeway changed the fuel station discount, re-branding it the "Power Pump Rewards." The Power Pump Rewards program offers six, seven, ten, eleven, fifteen, or twenty cent per gallon discount on purchases totaling more than $100 (after club/coupon savings). Purchases of products such as alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and lottery tickets do not count towards the program.
afeway ATM Network
The Safeway ATM Network is operated in
Colorado, Oregon, Wyomingand Washington. There are typically two machines located near the front of each store. Cirrus, Plus, Star, and NYCE are on the network. The network was started in late 1998 in Denver and was expanded to Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon.
In addition to the Safeway name, the company also operates stores under the following banners:
Carrs(Carr-Gottstein Foods), Alaskan supermarket chain
Casa Ley, food stores in western Mexico, competes primarily with Wal-Mart
Dominick's(Dominick's Finer Foods), Illinoissupermarket chain
Genuardi's(Genuardi's Family Markets), Mid-Atlantic supermarket chain
Pak 'n' Save( warehouse storechain in California)
* Pavilions, upscale division of The Vons Companies, Inc.
Randall's Food Markets, southeast and central Texassupermarket chain
Simon David, Dallas, Texas, specialty grocer
Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy, North Texassupermarket chain
Vons(The Vons Companies, Inc.), Southern California/ Nevadasupermarket chain
* The S Medallion (1946–December 1981) — The red "S" part was slightly thinned in late 1957, and would remain in this fashion through 1981.
* The Ribbon Leaf (January 1982–2005) — Safeway used this logo from January 1982 to
April 17, 2005. The red stylized "S" was still located in the center.
* The Yin-Yang - Life logo (January 2005 to the present) — The stylized "S" is still located in the center, but is now white.
*Since We're Neighbors, Let's Be Friends (1972–1979) — Probably the first Safeway advertising campaign to make use of a singalong
jingle. This slogan was used by the U.S. stores until July 16, 1979, when the "Everything" slogan was adopted. (lyrics acceptable)
*Today at Safeway (used by the
Canadianstores during the same period as the American jingle listed above)
*Everything You Want from a Store and a Little Bit More (1979–December 1981) — This campaign, launched on
July 16, 1979, was adopted, perhaps, to reflect the image of Safeway stores as "one stop shopping centers." This campaign was used through December 1981, although it was in use in the UK into the 1990s.
*Today's Safeway: Where You Get a Little Bit More (January 1982–1983) — The first Safeway ad campaign to make use of the company's new "ribbon leaf" logo.
*America's Favorite Food Store (1983–1986)
*I Work an Honest Day and I Want an Honest Deal (1985–1987) — "America's favorite food store" tagline used with this campaign through 1986 until the buyout and divestitures, which reduced the storecount and made the "America's favorite" line inaccurate. Also featured a song.
*Nobody Does It Better (1988– late 1990sVerify source|date=July 2007) — This campaign is unique for being adapted from a pop song. In this case, the song was originally a hit for
Carly Simonin 1977. Simon originally sang it as the theme songto 1977's James Bondmovie, "The Spy Who Loved Me".
*We Bring It All Together (late 1980s–early 1990s) Main slogan for Safeway locations in Canada.
*Giving Our Best (2001Verify source|date=July 2007–2005)
*Vons is Value (mid-to-late 1990s) — Used only for Vons stores in Southern California. This was the first Vons ad campaign since Safeway took over ownership of the chain.
*Delivering Our Best (late 1990s–2005) Used only for Vons stores in Southern California, as a regional variant of the Safeway slogan.
*Today's Better Way (1990s) Main slogan for Safeway locations in Canada before "Giving Our Best" was used in the early 2000s.
*Ingredients for life (2005–present)
COP: Safeway Category Optimization Process
Safeway recently transitioned from regional control of their product assortments to national category management, known as the Safeway Category Optimization Process or SCOP. With all dry grocery corporate buying done from Safeway's Pleasanton offices, it is said it will increase representation of manufacturers by experienced sales professionals with extensive product and category knowledge. Corporate produce buying offices are located in Phoenix Arizona. This will mean consistency across the Safeway chain, meaning one could go into a store in Winnipeg or San Francisco and find the same products at the same price as all negotiation is now done at the corporate level.
Washington, D.C., many of the neighborhood Safeway stores have been given nicknames by residents both to identify the particular store and as a cultural comment of the state of the store or the stereotypes of the demographics of the shoppers inside the stores. Examples include the "Soviet Safeway" (now defunct, but once known among residents of the Cleveland Park neighborhood for having an outdated, small space, bare shelves and slow service), the "Not-So-Safeway" or "Unsafeway" (in a not-so-great neighborhood), the "Senior Safeway" (located in the Watergate complexand patronized mostly by elderly residents there), the "Social Safeway" (located in upper Georgetown and patronized by many young singles and embassy personnel), and the "Secret Safeway" (located in a nondescript building off upper Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest Washington with little Safeway signage and known mostly to neighborhood residents but few passersby). [ [http://www.notfortourists.com/features/632824154018352691.pdf Not For Tourists, 2006] (PDF file) A Feature On Washington, D.C., Safeway Identities]
Nicknaming has also taken place in the company's home territory of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Safeway in the Marina District of San Francisco is commonly called "Dateway", a reference to the high number of singles who shop in the store. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=3&entry_id=14120] A Blog one of many referring to the Marina Safeway in San Francisco as "Dateway"]
Safeway Music is provided by
In-Store Broadcasting Network, giving store personnel a variety of songs to play for shoppers. The satellite network also beams commercials and advertisements for Safeway products and brands that play intermittently with the music.
In Canada (and various other divisions in the past up until 2004), the "Bread song":
Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'" plays at 5 PM local time to remind the bakery staff to remove the fresh bread from the ovens and bring it to the floor for the Fresh French Bread at 5 campaign.Fact|date=September 2007
Popular favorites in the Safeway music library include songs by:
Dave Matthews Band
The Eagles(particularly: Hotel California& Boys of Summer)
The Wallflowers(particularly: 6th Avenue Heartache)
Bonnie Tyler(particularly: Total Eclipse of the Heart)
*Chicago (particularly: You're the Inspiration)
* [http://www.safeway.com/ Safeway] website
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