Safeway began in 1915, founded by M.B. Skaggs from American Falls, Idaho, who bought a small grocery store from his father. M.B. believed in giving his customers value in their grocery shopping while keeping profits narrow. The business proved to be lucrative and popular. As a result, he was soon opening many new stores and by 1926 there were 428 under the Skaggs brand in 10 states. A Safeway survey in 1926 would have shown that it impressed many people with M.B.’s ambition and vision. Now, Safeway is a popular grocery store brand in the United States.
M.B. did not stop there, however. Rather, he merged with 322 Safeway Stores and named the business Safeway, Inc and, in 1928, Safeway was listed on the New York stock exchange.
Safeway has been an innovation leader from its origins in the grocery industry. In the 1930s, Safeway introduced charging by the pound for its produce, using sell-by dates on more perishable items to ensure they stayed fresh, and adding labels with nutritional information. It even had parking lots – something not too many stores had in those days.
Safeway’s first advertising slogan was “Drive the Safeway; buy the Safeway.” During the Great Depression, when many other grocery businesses expected their customers to use credit, Safeway did not want people to go into debt to buy groceries and, therefore, offered cash only – the “safe way.” To this day, Safeway tries to help customers who shop there do so without going into debt.
Safeway also takes good care of its employees. In 1954 Safeway began offering them major medical coverage. This helped ensure good labor relations. Safeway employees join a union, unlike some of its competitors.
What Is Safeway?: A Safeway Survey
1928 to 2014
A discussion of Safeway’s origins would not be complete without an understanding of its expansion. M.B. Skaggs may have founded Safeway, Inc., but his value-driven vision lives on in the current stores, which by 2014 had expanded to 1,300 across the U.S. under different name brands owned by the parent company. They include:
- 266 Safeway stores in Northern California and Hawaii
- 273 Vons stores in Southern California and Nevada
- 107 Randalls and Tom Thumb stores in Texas,
- 28 Carrs stores in Alaska.
2015 To Present
In January 2015, Safeway’s parent company, AB Acquisition LLC, and Safeway, Inc. merged, creating the second largest food and drug retailer in the country. A Safeway survey of its size would now have to note over 2,200 stores in 33 states and Washington, D.C. Nearly 265,000 people now work for the parent company (Safeway) in 19 of the 33 states Safeway owns these stores.
Is There a Need for Safeway?
What Makes Safeway Special
A Safeway survey of its current customers would show that they are pleased with the fresh produce, excellent selection, friendly staff, regular coupon deals, cleanliness, and overall value. The store’s philosophy is to offer customers desirable, innovative products at a fair price, with caring employees. Customers who could shop at Safeway’s competitors, but instead choose Safeway, would tell a Safeway survey that Safeway delivers on its promises to them. Safeway customers are always well-treated, respected, and cared for by everyone from the grocery bagger to the store manager.
Personal Shopping and Home Delivery Options
Busy shoppers across the U.S. appreciate all the special touches Safeway offers. A Safeway survey would have to include input from its customers, who have less time than ever for grocery shopping with work and personal obligations eating up so much time.
Safeway offers a personal shopper to select a customer’s groceries and then drive them to their home or deliver them to the customer’s car. For the disabled, elderly, or especially busy customers, this is a benefit that is much appreciated. Through its partner, Instacart, Safeway also offers delivery in only 2 hours. It’s almost as fast as the customer picking up the groceries from Safeway themselves.
Not Every Purchase Can Be Made at a Farmer’s Market or Discount Store
Whether it is for a family’s weekly shopping trip or a quick trip for a few items, shoppers will notice Safeway is competitive on price and quality with its competitors. In addition to having items as fresh as a farmer’s market, Safeway has a greater selection of items and more depth than a discount store in terms of a variety of items and brands. Safeway offers the convenience of having everything in one place: a delicious deli, fresh meat and produce departments, a pharmacy, a florist, and sometimes even a gas station in addition to all the dry goods offered at competitive prices.
Why Shop at Safeway Instead of Its Competitors?
Just for U
Like many of its competitors, Safeway offers weekly specials, which they can find easily. Safeway publishes them on its website, mails them weekly, and advertises them in local newspapers. However, if a customer signs up for its email program, Just for U, they receive customized offers based on their own shopping history collected by the Safeway Club Card. These offers are competitive and keep many of Safeway’s customers coming back to Safeway regularly. A Safeway survey of a Just for U customer would show that customer loyalty is rewarded, and the customer appreciates the extra discount on items they purchase regularly. It is also very convenient as digital coupons are automatically subtracted from the customer’s total at checkout.
By shopping at Safeway, customers can earn a discount on their gas purchases at Safeway gas stations, Chevron, and Texaco, just by using the phone number they registered with Safeway. For every $1 spent on groceries or pharmacy or 50 cents spent on qualifying gift cards, customers can earn 1 gas rewards point. When 100 points have accumulated, the discount is 10 cents per gallon. The same ratio is true with 200 points leading to 20 cents per gallon and with 1,000 points, $1 per gallon. With the high price of gas today, customers can feel good about earning this additional benefit from Safeway.
Locally Sourced Produce
Since 2009, Safeway has partnered with local farmers to source up to one-third of its fruits and vegetables from local sources. In some regions, such as California, it is nearly half. It makes sense for fresh food to travel less and a Safeway survey of its customers would reflect that they can taste the difference. Supporting local farmers is an important value for Safeway and, as a result, a substantial amount of the produce is organic.
Meat is one item Safeway is famous for. Since 1936, Safeway has offered a money-back guarantee on its meat. Safeway is proud of its meat selection and stands behind it. Sell-by dates are firm, so if a customer is looking to save, meats will be significantly marked-down before their expiration. The philosophy of freshness extends to other items such as cheeses, dips, and spreads and other items throughout the store.
Premium Private Label Brand
Safeway Select is Safeway’s private brand: a Safeway survey would have to include customers’ love for it. Safeway Select items are high quality and reasonably priced and include Lucerne for dairy and Primo Taglio for meats and cheeses.
Floral Department in Bloom Year Round
When customers are shopping for groceries, special occasions that flowers would help with sometimes come to mind. Safeway’s floral department includes fresh arrangements and seasonal plants. Fresh flowers may also be ordered from Safeway’s website, with convenient in-store pickup or home delivery options.
Pharmacy Service In a Hurry
Customers can drop off a prescription while shopping, have it filled, and pick it up at their convenience – sometimes even before the shopping is complete. Prescription refills can also be managed online. The pharmacy accepts most insurance plans as well as Medicare Parts B and D and worker’s compensation.
Vaccinations are also available as a walk-up service.
Come on a Friday to Save Money
Safeway has several $5 Friday deals each week; check the website, mail, or newspaper for details. For example, meats, bakery, produce, or general grocery items such as olive oil will sell for only $5 or less. Shoppers can also receive double gas rewards for buying $5 Friday sale products.
Personal Shopping and Delivery
Safeway was one of the first grocery chains to offer personal shopping with delivery to a customer’s door. Since 2000, Safeway has offered this service at a reasonable price. The first delivery on a minimum of $30 order is free. After that, in most areas, it is $9.95 on purchases of $150 or more and $12.95 on purchases under $150.
Whether the customer is attracted to its delivery service, excellent produce and fresh meats, personalized specials, fresh flowers, convenient pharmacy, gas station, or friendly service, there is something for everyone at Safeway.
The Safeway Club card makes loading personalized coupons paperless and convenient. No more having to worry about keeping track of tiny pieces of paper!
The gas rewards discount also makes Safeway stand out. The locally sourced produce, premium private label brand, and overall affordability make Safeway stand out from its competition. Many customers have noticed the multiple benefits of shopping at Safeway and return often. We hope this article has shown you why and that you will try Safeway soon if you have not already!