World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Safeway Inc.

Safeway, Inc.
Industry Retail
Founded American Falls, Idaho, U.S.
(1915 (1915))
Founder Marion Barton Skaggs
Headquarters Pleasanton, California, U.S.
Number of locations
2,205 (2015, including Albertsons)
Key people
Robert L. Edwards
(President & CEO)
Bob Gordon
(Sr.VP & General Counsel)
Products Bakery, dairy, delicatessen, dry cleaning, frozen foods, fuel, grocery, lottery, pharmacy, photographic processing, produce, seafood, snack food, liquor, flowers, and Western Union
Services Supermarket
Revenue US$36.139 billion (2013)[1]
US$635 million (2013)[1]
US$3.507 billion (2013)[1]
Total assets US$17.219 billion (2013)[1]
Total equity US$5.875 billion (2013)[1]
Number of employees
Over 250,000 (2015, including Albertsons)
Parent Cerberus Capital, L.P.
Website .com.safewaywww

Safeway, Inc. is an American supermarket chain that was acquired by private equity investors led by Cerberus Capital Management in January 2015. The new merged company which includes the Albertsons supermarket chain has more than 2,200 stores and over 250,000 employees[2] which makes it the second largest supermarket chain in North America, after The Kroger Company, which has 2,625 stores.[3] Safeway's primary base of operations is in the western and central United States,[4] with some stores located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern Seaboard. The company is headquartered in Pleasanton, California.

Supermarket News ranked Safeway No. 4 in the 2011 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2010 fiscal year estimated sales of $41 billion.[5] Based on 2009 revenue, Safeway is the 11th largest retailer in the United States.[6]


  • History 1
  • Expansion 2
    • International expansion 2.1
    • 1940s-1970s 2.2
    • 1980s: Takeover and sell-offs 2.3
    • 1990s 2.4
    • 2000s and beyond 2.5
  • Current operations 3
    • Chains 3.1
      • Former 3.1.1
  • Private brands 4
  • Lifestyle branding 5
  • Safeway Grocery Delivery 6
  • Safeway Fuel 7
  • Past concepts 8
  • Logos 9
  • Slogans 10
  • Safeway corporate information 11
    • Safeway ATM Network 11.1
    • Corporate governance 11.2
    • Support offices 11.3
    • Safeway Category Optimization Process 11.4
    • Animal welfare concerns 11.5
    • Safeway music 11.6
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Former Safeway headquarters in Pleasanton, California.

In 1915, Marion Barton Skaggs purchased his father's 576-square-foot (53.5 m2) 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. M.B.'s business strategy, to give his customers value and to expand by keeping a narrow profit margin, proved spectacularly successful. By 1926, he had opened 428 Skaggs stores in 10 states. M.B. almost doubled the size of his business that year when he merged his company with 322 Safeway stores and incorporated as Safeway, Inc.[7]

The original slogan was "an admonition and an invitation" to "Drive the Safeway; buy the Safeway". The point of the name was that the grocery operated on a cash-and-carry basis — it did not offer credit, as grocers traditionally had done. It was the "safe way" to buy because a family could not get into debt via its grocery bill (as many families did at the time, especially during the Great Depression).

In 1926, Charles E. Merrill founder of the Merrill Lynch brokerage firm, saw an opportunity to consolidate the West Coast grocery industry. Towards this end, he purchased the 322-store Safeway chain of W.R.H. Weldon, who wished to exit retailing and concentrate on wholesale. Then, in June 1926, Merrill offered Skaggs either $7 million outright or $1.5 million plus 30,000 shares in the merged firm. Skaggs took the latter.[8] On July 1, 1926, Safeway merged with the 673 stores from Skaggs United Stores of Idaho and Skaggs Cash Stores of California. On completion of the Skaggs/Safeway merger, M. B. Skaggs became the Chief Executive of the business.[9] Two years later, M.B. listed Safeway on the New York Stock Exchange. In the 1930s, Safeway introduced produce pricing by the pound, adding "sell by" dates on perishables, nutritional labeling, and some of the first parking lots.

The merger instantly created the largest chain of grocery stores west of the Mississippi.[10] In the 1930s, Charles E. Merrill temporarily left Merrill Lynch to help manage Safeway. At the time of the merger, the company was headquartered in Reno, Nevada. In 1929, it was relocated to a former grocery warehouse in Oakland, California. Safeway headquarters remained there until the move to Pleasanton, California in 1996.


The initial public offering price of Safeway stock was $226 in 1927. A five for one split in 1928 brought the price down to under $50. Over the next few years, Charles Merrill, with financing supplied by Merrill Lynch, then began aggressively acquiring numerous regional grocery store chains for Safeway in a rollup strategy. Early acquisitions included significant parts of Piggly Wiggly chain as part of the breakup of that company by Merrill Lynch and Wall Street.

Year Firm # of stores Location
1926 H.G. Chaffee grocery stores Southern California
1926 Skaggs Cash Stores 679 grocery stores Idaho
1926 Skaggs United Stores (in above) California
1928 Arizona Grocery/Pay'n Takit Stores 24 grocery stores; 24 meat markets Arizona
1928 Newway Stores 15 grocery stores; 11 meat markets El Paso, Texas
1928 Sanitary Grocery (incl. some Piggly Wiggly) 429 grocery stores; 67 meat markets Washington D.C. and Virginia
1928 Eastern Stores Inc. 67 grocery stores; 127 meat markets Baltimore, Maryland
1928 Piggly Wiggly Pacific 91 grocery stores; 84 meat markets Oakland, California
1928 Bird Grocery Stores (including some Piggly Wiggly) 224 grocery stores; 210 meat markets Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska
1929 Piggly Wiggly West 91 grocery stores; 84 meat markets Northern California, Hawaii, Colorado
1929 Sun Grocery 91 grocery stores; 84 meat markets Tulsa, Oklahoma
1931 MacMarr Stores grocery stores Los Angeles
1936 Stores from Kroger 53 grocery stores Oklahoma
1941 Daniel Reeves 498 grocery stores New York
1941 National Grocery 84 grocery stores New Jersey
1958 Thriftway Stores (Iowa) 30 grocery stores Iowa

Most transactions involved the swap of stock certificates, with little cash changing hands. Most acquired chains retained their own names until the mid-1930s.

Safeway store number by state and province in 1932

In 1929, there were rumors of a Safeway-Kroger merger.[11]

The number of stores peaked at 3,400 in 1932, when expansion ground to a halt. The Great Depression had finally impacted the chain, which began to focus on cost control. In addition, numerous smaller grocery stores were being replaced with larger supermarket stores. By 1933, the chain ranked second in the grocery industry behind The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company and ahead of Kroger.

In 1935, Safeway sold its nine stores in Honolulu, Hawaii "...because of the inconvenience of proper supervision."[12] Also in 1935, independent groceries in California convinced the California legislature to enact a progressive tax on chain stores. Before the act took effect, Safeway filed a petition to have the law put to a referendum. In 1936, the California electorate voted to repeal the law.

In 1936, Safeway introduced a money back guarantee on meat.[13]

Change in number of Safeway stores from 1925 to 1960

International expansion

Country Year # of stores
Canada 1929 213 (2013)
United Kingdom 1962 131 (1986)
Australia 1962 123 (1984)
West Germany 1963 35 (1984)
Mexico 1981 137 (2007)
Saudi Arabia 1982 6 (1984)
Jordan 2003 6 (2009)
Kuwait ? ?

The company expanded into Canada in 1929 with 127 stores (which became Canada Safeway Limited and which was sold to Sobeys in 2013);[14] into the United Kingdom in 1962 (which became Safeway plc); into Australia in 1963 (which became Safeway Australia); and into Germany in 1964. The company also has operations in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in a licensing and management agreement with the Tamimi Group during the 1980s. In 1981, it acquired 49% of Mexican retailer Casa Ley.

Safeway usually achieved international expansion by acquiring one or more small chains in a given country. They expanded into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, however, through a joint venture. This initial nucleus of stores received Safeway systems and technology and then expanded organically. International chains acquired include:

Year Firm # of stores Location
1929 ? 9 grocery stores Canada
1935 Piggly Wiggly (Canada) 179 stores Canada
1962 John Gardner Limited 11 stores United Kingdom
1963 Pratt Supermarkets 3 stores Melbourne, Australia
1963 Mutual Stores ? stores Australia
1964 Big Bär Basar (Big Bear Bazaar) 2 stores West Germany
1980 Jack the Slasher 31 stores Queensland, Australia
1981 49% of Casa Ley ? stores Mexico


Safeway Stores 1955 Specimen Stock Certificate
A Marina Safeway in Hamilton, Montana built in 1962
An older store design from the 1970s and 1980s is seen in this San Jose, California Safeway.

In 1941, Marion B. Skaggs retired from the Safeway board of directors.[9]

In 1947, the company's sales exceeded $1 billion for the first time. By 1951, total sales had reached nearly $1.5 billion. The company adopted the S logo, which it still uses, in 1962.

In 1955, Robert A. Magowan became Chairman of the Board of Safeway. Magowan had married Charles Merrill's daughter, Doris. Magowan also assumed the title of President in 1956. He remained President until 1968, and a member of the board until 1978.

In 1959, Safeway opened its first store in the new state of Alaska—the first major food retailer to enter that market. The company opened three stores in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks over the next several years. The store in downtown Fairbanks was built on the site of a red-light district, known as The Line, which operated for close to a half century. Most of these stores were in buildings constructed by Anchorage real estate developer Wally Hickel, who later became governor of Alaska and U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Also in 1959, the firm also opened the first "marina-style" store on the Marina in San Francisco. Numerous stores in this style opened during the next decade.[15]

In 1961, the company sold its New York operations to Finast.[16] In 1963, Safeway again opened stores in Hawaii, having exited this market in 1934.[17] They had leased one store in Culver City to animator/filmmaker Don Bluth, who used it as a theater until 1967.

In 1969, Safeway entered the Toronto market in Canada and the Houston market in Texas through opening new stores, rather than by acquisition. The firm ultimately failed against entrenched competition in both these markets.

In 1977, Safeway management instituted a program to fight counterfeit $100 bills by, among other things, telling employees that bills that lacked the words "In God We Trust" were counterfeit. Because Safeway had not sufficiently investigated the history of $100 bills, it was unaware that some bills still in circulation did not have the phrase. Eventually, an innocent shopper was incorrectly reported to Oakland, California police for passing a "counterfeit" bill. he was arrested and strip-searched before Oakland police contacted the Treasury Department and realized the error. The 1981 jury verdict of joint and several liability for $45,000 against Safeway Stores and the City of Oakland was upheld in full by the Supreme Court of California on December 26, 1986.[18]

In 1979, Peter Magowan, son of Robert Magowan and grandson of Charles Merrill, was appointed Chairman and CEO of Safeway. Magowan managed Safeway for the next 13 years—presiding over the dramatic decline of the firm in terms of store numbers

1980s: Takeover and sell-offs

Following a hostile takeover bid from corporate raiders Herbert and Robert Haft, the chain was acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) acting 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 began selling off a large number of its operating divisions.

Year Division sold # of stores Sale price Buyer Outcome
1983 Omaha/Sioux Falls 64 stores n/a Multiple buyers including Hy-Vee & Fareway Stores continue to operate as Hy-Vee (Omaha/Lincoln/Sioux Falls) and Fareway (Sioux City, IA)
1985 Southern Ontario 22 stores n/a Oshawa Group Oshawa acquired by Sobeys in 1998
1985 West Germany 36 stores n/a Meierei C Bolle[19] Stores now part of Edeka
1987 Dallas 141 stores n/a Unable to sell whole division Sold in pieces to Kroger, Brookshire's, Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy (which is now owned by Safeway), Minyard Food Stores and Furr's; some stores shuttered
1987 Salt Lake City 60 stores $75m Borman's (Detroit) Borman's sells stores in pieces at under book value in 1988 to Flemings (supermarkets) & Albertsons; Borman's acquired by A&P late 1988
1987 El Paso 59 stores $140m Furr's Supermarkets (see Roy Furr) Firm hits financial difficulties; MBO of some stores; other sold; bankruptcy in 2001
1987 Oklahoma 106 stores n/a MBO by management and Clayton & Dubilier forming Homeland (supermarket) Firm listed then goes into bankruptcy in 1996. Later it was bought by and became a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers.
1987 Safeway UK 121 stores US$1b Argyll Foods Stores continued to trade under Safeway name until 2005, when they were acquired by Morrisons
1988 Kansas City 66 stores n/a Morgan Lewis Githens & Ahn/W S Acquisition Corp. Renamed Food Barn; bankruptcy 1994; stores sold to Associated Wholesale Grocers, which either closed or divested them to their members.
1988 Little Rock 51 stores n/a Acadia Partners Renamed Harvest Foods; bankruptcy in 1995; stores sold off; some now part of Associated Wholesale Grocers after the demise of Affiliated Foods Southwest
1988 Houston 99 stores $174.6m MBO with Duncan Cook and Co. and the Sterling Group Renamed AppleTree Markets; bankruptcy 1992; stores sold to competitors
1987 Safeway Australia 135 stores $124m Woolworths Limited Australia Some stores continue to trade under Safeway name (only within state of Victoria). All stores are gradually being rebranded to Woolworths.
1988 Southern California 172 stores $408m Vons The $408m that Safeway acquired in the deal consisted of $325m in cash and 30 percent interest in Vons;[20] Safeway later acquired 100 percent ownership in 1997

The divested domestic divisions of Safeway proved to be poisoned chalices for almost all those who acquired them. Essentially every purchasing entity hit financial troubles and either went bankrupt or was later acquired. (Hy-Vee and Fareway are the exceptions with the locations they acquired, having made them work)

The international stores were more successful for their acquirers. UK stores, Safeway plc, were sold to Argyll Foods, which itself was ultimately absorbed by Morrisons in 2004. Safeway Australia was sold to the Australian-based Woolworths Limited in 1985.

Safeway sold its stores in Southern California, including those in established markets like Los Angeles and San Diego, to Vons in 1988 in exchange for a 30 percent interest in the company. Safeway also diminished operations in Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, and Sacramento. Save Mart Supermarkets purchased the few remaining Fresno Safeway stores in 1996.

Many stores in the Eastern Division were also closed or sold in the 1987-89 timeframe, including many recent additions in the DelMarVa Eastern Shore area.

Safeway's national presence was now reduced to several western states and Northern California, plus the Washington, D.C. area. Altogether, nearly half the 2,200 stores in the chain were sold.


Safeway in 1663 Branham Lane, San Jose, CA 95118

The company was taken public again in 1990.

Safeway Jordan was sold to the Masri family in 1991. In December 2003, the Masri family sold it to The Sultan Center of Kuwait.

In the late 1990s, Safeway began to again aggressively acquire regional chains, including Randall's Food Markets in Texas, Carrs in Alaska, and Dominick's in Illinois. The buyout of Randall's marked Safeway's return to Texas ten years after the original stores in Houston were sold to AppleTree and several Dallas stores were sold to Tom Thumb, which was later acquired by Randall's. In 1997, after being a minority owner since 1988, Safeway exercised its option to acquire full control of Vons in Southern California.

In 1999, the Safeway chain began selling gasoline at some of its new stores. It began operation of gasoline stations when it purchased the Randall's chain.[21]

2000s and beyond

In 2000, Safeway started grocery delivery operations.[22]

In 2001, Safeway acquired the family-owned Genuardi's chain, with locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Safeway also created the 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, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers at Vons stores in Southern California called a strike. The strike (and concurrent lockout at Albertsons and Ralphs) lasted until the end of February 2004.

In July 2007, the company stock rose on speculation that Sears Holdings Corporation was seeking to purchase Safeway.[23]

The largest Safeway in the United States is part of a mixed-use development in Mountain View, California.

In 2012, the company dissolved the Genuardi's chain in suburban Philadelphia through a combination of store selloffs and closures. Giant acquired 15 of the chain's stores and made an offer for a 16th which was instead sold to a local chain as part of an antitrust settlement. Weis also bought three Genuardi's locations. A number of unprofitable Genuardi's units also had closed in 2010 and 2011 as their leases expired. Earlier, Zagara's, a small chain of upscale, gourmet supermarkets started by Genuardi's in 1990 was also shuttered in 2000, immediately following their parent company's acquisition by Safeway. The only Genuardi's in the northern half of New Jersey also closed soon after the merger with Safeway, and a location in Bensalem, Pennsylvania was sold to ShopRite in 2004.

Genuardi's in Wilmington, Delaware were converted to the Safeway name in 2004 due to legal issues stemming from a union contract signed by the management of early Safeway stores in Delaware that closed in 1982. The current Safeway locations in Delaware are served by division offices in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area, where Safeway has long been the dominant grocer. However, the majority of Safeway stores operate in the Western United States, where the chain originated.

On January 8, 2011 US congressperson Gabrielle Giffords survived an assassination attempt at a Safeway in a Tucson, Arizona suburb in which a lone gunman killed six and injured 13.[24]

In 2011, Safeway signed an agreement with

  • .com.safewaywww

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e SAFEWAY INC. Form 10-K, Securities and Exchanges Commission, February 26, 2014
  2. ^ Maria Armental (July 25, 2014). "Safeway Shareholders Approve Albertsons Merger". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Albertsons-Safeway outlines new operations, leadership". Supermarket News. September 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Safeway Fact Book". 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 
  5. ^ "SN's Top 75 Retailers for 2011". Super Market News. Super Market News. 2010-12-01. Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. 
  6. ^ Top 100 Retailers, Stores, July 2010.
  7. ^ "Our-Story". Safeway. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  8. ^ Wall Street to main street; Charles Merrill and middle-class investors, p111
  9. ^ a b Safeway Annual Report 1966, p2
  10. ^ Safeway stock out tomorrow, Los Angeles Times, November 14, 1926, p17
  11. ^ Wall Street Journal, October 1, 1929
  12. ^ Wall Street Journal, January 28, 1935
  13. ^ Supermarket News, December 10, 2001
  14. ^ Foran, Max (1982). Calgary, Canada's frontier metropolis : an illustrated history. Windsor Publications. p. 296.  
  15. ^ Safeway annual report 1959, p4
  16. ^ Safeway Annual Report 1961
  17. ^ Safeway Annual Report 1966, p10
  18. ^ Pool v. City of Oakland, 42 Cal. 3d 1051 (1986).
  19. ^ Meierei C. Bolle
  20. ^ "The Wait Is Over: Vons Acquires Safeway Stores". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 1988. 
  21. ^ Johnson, Kelly (October 8, 2000). "Safeway motors up to sell gas in Roseville".  
  22. ^ a b [3] Grocers make another go at home delivery
  23. ^ Waters, Jennifer (18 July 2007). "Safeway shares jump on rumor of Sears Holdings' buyout".  
  24. ^ Michelle Lee, The Arizona Republic (2013-03-06). "Gabby Giffords returns to Tucson shooting site". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  25. ^ Vosburgh, Robert. "UNFI Signs Up Safeway". Supermarket News. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  26. ^ Ladurantaye, Teve. "Sobeys to buy Safeway in $5.8-billion deal".  
  27. ^ Wohl, Jessica (October 12, 2013). "Dominick's to be sold or closed as Safeway exits Chicago".  
  28. ^ Gallagher, Mari (October 14, 2013). "Why Dominick's sputtered out".  
  29. ^ Channick, Robert (October 16, 2013). "Jewel to keep workers from 4 Dominick's stores it's acquiring".  
  30. ^ Channick, Robert (December 28, 2013). "Final closing time for Dominick's on Saturday". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  31. ^ "Albertsons Owner to Buy Safeway for More than $9 Billion".  
  32. ^ chain to buy 146 Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons, Safeway stores
  33. ^ "Albertsons, Safeway complete merger". Supermarket News. January 30, 2015. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h "Safeway Brands". Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Safeway Brands - Bright Green". Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Safeway Brands - Mom to Mom". Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Safeway Brands - Signature Cafe". Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  38. ^ "Safeway Brands - Waterfront Bistro". Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  39. ^ Safeway ready to unveil new 'branding' campaign, Supermarket News, March 2005.
  40. ^ [4] Safeway Grocery Delivery Service - Delivery Area Directory Archived February 13, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ "Safeway: Fuel Stations". Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  42. ^ "Safeway's Super S Story". Pleasant Family Shopping. September 16, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  43. ^ Safeway Annual Report 1964
  44. ^ Safeway Annual Report 1969
  45. ^ "John Benetti -- Brentwood supermarket chain owner". SFGate. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  46. ^ "Corporate Governance". Safeway. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  47. ^ "Walmart Cruelty: The Hidden Cost of Walmart's Pork". Mercy For Animals. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  48. ^ Runkle, Nathan. "Victory! Costco and Kmart Commit to Ditching Gestation Crates Following MFA Investigation". Mercy For Animals. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  49. ^ Runkle, Nathan. "Safeway Pledges to Eliminate Cruel Gestation Crates from Supply Chain". Mercy For Animals. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  50. ^ "General situation of world fish stocks" (PDF). United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  51. ^ Tremblay-Boyer, Laura, Didier Gascuel, and Daniel Pauly. "A global map of the relative impact of fishing on the biomass of marine ecosystems from 1950 to 2004". Ecopath 25 Years Conference Proceedings: Extended Abstracts. Eds. Maria Lourdes D. Palomares, et al. Vol. 17. Fisheries Centre Research Reports, 17. 2009. 132-133. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  52. ^ "Protecting our oceans, one supermarket at a time". The Seek Radio. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  53. ^ "Carting Away the Oceans" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  54. ^ "Carting Away the Oceans 7" (PDF). Greenpeace. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 


See also

Safeway music is provided by InStore Broadcasting Network. The satellite network also beams commercials and advertisements for Safeway products and brands that play intermittently with the music.

Safeway music

In 2008, [50] and 90% of top marine predators are already gone."[51][52] Criteria included the number of threatened fish species supermarkets sold, their seafood purchasing policies, and ocean legislation policies they supported.[53] Greenpeace annual Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report ranks supermarkets on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least sustainable with seafood policies and 10 being the most sustainable with seafood policies. Safeway ranked second best (7.1 out of 10) on the 2013 CATO Report by ensuring that its store brand of canned tuna was sustainably fished and by lobbying for science-based ocean conservation policies.[54]

In 2012, Mercy for Animals conducted an undercover investigation at Christensen Farms, a pork supplier to Safeway, Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and Kmart.[47] Before the public release of Mercy For Animals' investigation at Christensen Farms, Safeway announced they would begin requiring pork suppliers to phase out gestation crates.[48][49]

Animal welfare concerns

Safeway transitioned from regional control of their product assortments to national category management, known as the Safeway Category Optimization Process (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.

Safeway Category Optimization Process

Support offices

As of 2013, members of the board of directors of the company were: Robert Edwards, T. Gary Rogers, Janet E. Grove, Mohan Gyani, Frank C. Herringer, Kenneth W. Oder, Arun Sarin, and William Y. Tauscher.[46]

Corporate governance

The Safeway ATM Network, run for Safeway by Cardtronics, operates in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming and Washington. Typically, one machine is 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.

Safeway ATM Network

Safeway corporate information

  • "Since We're Neighbors, Let's Be Friends" (1972 – 1979) was 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.
  • "Everything You Want from a Store and a Little Bit More" (1979 – December 1981) was the campaign launched on July 16, 1979, and 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) was 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) and "America's favorite food store" tagline were used with this campaign through 1986, until the buyout and divestitures, which reduced the store count and made the "America's favorite" line inaccurate; it also featured a song.
  • "Nobody Does It Better" (1992 – late 1990s) — This campaign is unique for being adapted from a pop song. In this case, the song was a hit for Carly Simon in 1977. Simon sang it as the theme song to 1977's James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. The 1993 version used in the commercials was recorded by R&B Grammy Award winning singer Patti Labelle.
  • "Giving Our Best" (2001–2005)
  • "Vons is Value" (mid-to-late 1990s) was used only for Vons stores in Southern California. This was the first Vons ad campaign since Safeway took over ownership of the chain.
  • "Ours Is Bigger Than Yours" (mid-1990s), in reference to the expansion of produce departments in Northern California.
  • "Delivering Our Best" (late 1990s – 2005) was used only for grocery delivery
  • "Ingredients for life" (2005 – 2015) *This slogan is still used in TV ads & store signage for Safeway's Colorado / Wyoming stores.*
  • "fresh to your door" (2012 – present) used only for grocery delivery
  • "It's Just Better" (2015 - present)
A delivery truck, used for deliveries to people who buy their groceries online
An early 21st century Safeway store in Sunnyvale, California


  • The S Medallion (1946–December 1981) — The red "S" part was slightly thinned in late 1957, and remained that way through 1981.
  • The Ribbon Leaf (1981–2005) — Safeway used this logo from December 1981 to early 2005. The red stylized "S" was still in the center.
  • The Yin-Yang - Life logo (2005–present) — The stylized "S" is still located in the center of a red 'tube TV screen-style' shape, but is now white. You'll find it at the top of this page.


Safeway also acquired Pak 'n Save Foods, a box warehouse concept, as part of the 1983 purchase of Brentwood in Northern California.[45]

In 1969, Safeway formed a joint venture with Holly Farms Poultry Industries (now part of Tyson Foods) to open Holly Farms Fried Chicken in an effort to diversify into fast food restaurants and compete with KFC. The first store opened in Colonial Heights, Virginia in August, 1969.[44]

The company also made a number of attempts to repurpose older, smaller store sites, opening Food Barn, a discount grocery outlet, and Liquor Barn, a discount liquor outlet, in the 1970s. Safeway also trialled Town House in Washington, D.C., small stores targeting apartment dwellers, and a gourmet store concept, Bon Appetit in San Francisco and Tiburon, California.

In 1964, Safeway opened a trial two-level International Store at 12th and F Street in Washington, D.C., with a conventional Safeway downstairs and a gourmet store on the upper floor. The Safeway International Store range included wild boar steaks, snow hare, suckling pig, and reindeer steaks.[43]

In 1963, Safeway developed the Super S format—which combined a general merchandise and drug store and a new Safeway supermarket in the same building. The stores shared a common entrance, but operated as separate businesses with their own checkstands. The first outlet opened in Anchorage, Alaska. In 1965, 22 existing Super S stores were sold to Skaggs Drug Stores. Safeway sold the remaining stores in 1971.[42]

Safeway has tried a range of new store formats over the years, most of which have ultimately failed.

Past concepts

However, on August 1, 2012, Safeway announced it will discontinue its club card discount at the pump, which is 3¢ per gallon. Customers can continue to accumulate points by using their club cards (or phone numbers linked to their cards) on purchases to earn up to $1 off per gallon.

Safeway has fuel stations at some stores.[41] These stations allow customers to use a phone number or club (loyalty) card to receive fuel savings. The discount is 10¢/gal, with the purchase of $100 in groceries. This discount is also valid at Chevron stations with a Safeway Club Card.

Safeway Fuel

Safeway has offered online grocery delivery service in select markets starting in the Northwest US region in 2000.[22]
The service grew to deliver in 6 states and the District of Columbia(DC), mostly along west and east coast.[40]

Safeway Grocery Delivery

In 2007, the 1000th "Lifestyle" store was built in Everett, Washington.

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 this rebranding campaign had a major impact on sale figures.

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, and a web application called "FoodFlex" to improve consumer nutrition. Many locations are being converted to the "Lifestyle" format. The new look was designed by Michigan-based PPC Design. In addition to the "inviting decor with warm ambiance and subdued lighting", the move required heavy redesign of store layout, new employee uniforms, sushi and olive bars, 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.

On April 18, 2005, Safeway began a $100 million brand repositioning 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".[39]

Safeway "Lifestyle" look front end checkouts
Safeway "Lifestyle" look produce department

Lifestyle branding

(Refreshe Brand Cola is produced by Cotts Beverages for Safeway Inc.; it is bottled in San Bernardino, California. Safeway Refreshe brand bottled water is bottled by Advanced H20, LLC in Stockton, California. Safeway closed its water bottling plant in downtown Los Angeles in January 2012.)

  • Basic Red/Value Red — Mostly paper products, but includes large tubs of ice cream and sandwich breads and buns.[34]
  • Bright Green — Environmentally friendly cleaning products[35]
  • Butcher's Cut, The — Secondary meat brand used for prepackaged cold cuts and raw meats
  • Captains Choice — Seafood brand (Alaska stores only since June 2013)
  • Country Hearth - A Lucerne manufactured line of bread similar to Oroweat
  • Conti Gourmet Coffee. A gourmet goffee company, base Coppell, Texas
  • 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
  • In Kind — Hygiene products, beginning October 2010
  • 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[34]
  • Manor House — Another frozen meat line used for turkeys during the holidays
  • Mom to Mom — A full line of baby products[36]
  • O Organics — Line of organic products
  • Open Nature — A line of 100% natural foods, beginning January 2011
  • Oven Joy — Bread brand that is neither Safeway, O Organics, Eating Right nor Safeway Select
  • Pantry Essentials — Line of affordable food and household items (Household Items discontinued in the Denver division Aug 1, replaced by Fiora brand products)
  • Primo Taglio — The upscale deli cold cut brand[34]
  • Priority — Pet care brand.[34]
  • Produce Stand, The — Prepackaged produce such as baby carrots, salads, and raisins
  • Ranchers Reserve — The upscale meat brand.[34] (Retired July 2015 replaced with USDA Choice, in use from 2001-2015)
  • Refreshe — Originally reserved for bottled water, now (as of summer 2010) includes all flavors of soda that were previously branded as standalone or "Safeway" products. Now available in some Albertsons stores
  • Remarkable — Used for the Texas-based stores
  • Safeway — This includes nonbranded items that have unique names, and are not a whole brand to themselves, also used on items that just have descriptive titles instead of names[34]
  • Safeway Select — These are mostly the upscale items. Now being rebranded to Signature Select.[34]
  • Safeway Kitchens/Home/Farms/Care - This replaced some of the Safeway brand items. All are being rebranded to Signature.[34]
  • Signature Cafe — Deli line of soups, side dishes and prepared salads[37]
  • waterfront BISTRO — Frozen seafood products[38]

Some of the brands in use are:

"Safeway Select" is the company's signature private label that offers an upscale range of products, a sublabel "Primo Taglio" is used for more upscale deli products and "Lucerne" is the main dairy line. In 2006, Safeway introduced a new line, with

Private brands


  • Carrs-Safeway (Alaska)
  • Pak'n Save (California)
  • Pavilions (Southern California)
  • Randalls (Texas)
  • Safeway (Alaska, Arizona, Northern California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Northern Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming)
  • Tom Thumb (Texas)
  • Vons (Southern California and Southern Nevada)


Safeway store sign in Lakeview, Oregon.

As of 2014, Safeway had a total of 1,335 stores in the United States and 195 in Mexico with its partnership with Casa Ley. The largest concentration of Safeway branches is in Washington with 168 stores and then Colorado with 115.

Current operations

On January 30, 2015, the merger between Safeway and Albertsons was finalized.[33]

In January 2015, Bellingham, Washington headquartered grocery chain, Haggen announced they would be buying 146 Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores across Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona as part of anti-monopoly requirements following the merger. Some of the major metropolitan areas affected were Los Angeles, Portland, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Bakersfield, Seattle, and Las Vegas.[32]

On February 19, 2014, Safeway began to explore selling itself. On March 6, 2014 Cerberus Capital Management (which also owns rival grocery chain Albertsons) announced they would purchase Safeway for $9.4 billion in a deal expected to close in the 4th quarter of the year.[31]

In October 2013, Safeway announced that it would cease operating Dominick's stores in the Chicago area by early 2014.[27][28] The announcement spurred its competitors to seek employees and desirable store locations they could purchase.[29] One location would remain open in Bannockburn, Illinois until January 25, 2014.[30]

On June 12, 2013, Sobeys announced it would acquire Safeway's operations in Canada for CDN$5.8 billion, subject to regulatory approval. The move will bolster its presence in Western Canada, where Safeway was predominant. Sobeys has not yet determined whether it will maintain the Safeway brand, or convert its locations to the Sobeys banner.[26] The sale ended Safeway's presence in Canada.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.