Finance Department

Delivering increases in sales and/or market share is a key component of Safeway's strategy. Simon Laffin, Finance Director identifies "Driving profit through sales" as a major objective for the group. To achieve increases in sales Safeway has to bring new customers into its stores and encourage those new and existing customers to purchase more once in store. The introduction of "Best Deals Ever" featuring deep price cuts on volume lines was the key tactic used in store to encourage shoppers to buy more. Local advertising spread this message locally and "flyers" direct to homes. Thereby bringing new or lapsed shoppers back to Safeway

Having got the early response to this approach Safeway are now concentrating in turning new customers (or clients as they are known in Safeway) into local supporters. Increased customer numbers together with higher spend per visit will show increased sales.

Safeway have seen an 8% increase in customers and a 5.1% increase in sales during the past year. This in turn has contributed to a 31% increase in profit recorded in the latest annual report. Because Safeway is the smallest of the top 4 U.K. grocers it is not using market share as a driver in its current strategy. It is however, delivering against its main objectives as seen from a customer satisfaction perspective.

The current policy will impact on others in the sector and Safeway's current market share is likely to grow as a result of its current strategy. Market share going in decline leaves a company vulnerable to competitors. Companies who achieve dominance in their respective markets can increase prices and profitability. Providing services to the community/ Awareness of environmental issues. Community Companies increasingly recognise their responsibilities to the communities in which they operate.

In the case of Safeway Plc a key point of their strategy is their "Best at fresh" this means that they will work with their suppliers (farmers + fruit etc) in order to promote best practise and subsequently prime produce for Safeway customers. This degree of teamwork provides employment far beyond the actual stores. Thereby involving communities across the country and beyond with a vested interest in the Safeway brand.

On a local basis individual stores get involved in local activities. Sponsorships of a wide variety of projects for hospitals, schools, disabled sports, and student work placements for example a feature in Safeway's local community activity. Safeway Plc made contributions in excess of 100k in the year 2001, to a wide range of charities.