Making shopping easier
A Safeway case study

Page 1: Introduction

Shopping for food is an activity that all of the UK’s 23 million households regularly have to carry out. Providing food stores for these households is a very competitive business that has seen the rise of a number of national grocery retailers offering a wide range of goods and services within their stores. Their influence is measured by the increase in the market share of the multiple...
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Page 2: Key decisions

The continued survival of a company is not inevitable. What is clear is that for any company to survive it has to anticipate and adapt to changing circumstances. For a food retailing chain the following issues are critical: Retail positioning. This involves choosing the target market and differentiating the brand from the competition. The benefit of targeting is that it allows the retailer to...
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Page 3: The customer offer

The Safeway customer offer is now aimed directly at family shoppers. This offer has two major elements – getting the basics right every time and making shopping more convenient and extra special. Both elements are crystallised in Safeway’s strapline - “lightening the load”. “Getting the basics right everytime” means: offering excellent value providing...
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Page 4: Organisational change

Equally important, the basic processes and structures of the business were redesigned and simplified to help Safeway people implement these changes and get new ideas to the market place as quickly as possible. These changes included the structure and organisation of all Safeway stores as well as its central services. These changes in roles and structures resulted in 3,500 redundancies or early...
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Page 5: Improving efficiency

The Company set itself the target of reducing operating costs by £60 million in a full year by reshaping the organisation and achieving efficiency improvements. Within its distribution network, the strategy has been aimed at improving the quality of service while reducing the cost base. The distribution network is now centred on six major sites, supported by a similar number of smaller ones...
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Page 6: Conclusion

From the initial recognition of its shortcomings in the market place through to the full implementation of its new strategy, Safeway shows how a large food retailing business can fundamentally change the way it works and re-invent its brand offer, experience intensive and disruptive reorganisation and simultaneously improve its sales and profit performance. But its competitors have not been...
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Related: Argos
Case studies in Business Case Studies

  • Edition 10 Identifying customers and meeting their needs

    As a result of carefully reading the Case Study, students should be able to: understand the importance of a mission statement, and know that Argos’ mission statement focuses on giving customers value for money by providing them with a convenient shopping experience, explain why segmentation helps an organisation to identify and meet the needs of customers and understand how frequency of visitors to an Argos store or site is a good way of segmenting customers, know what is meant by a growth strategy and give a brief explanation of how Argos is seeking to grow.