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Safeway May Sell; Private Brand Sales Reach All-Time High

February 20, 2014
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Safeway Inc. is in discussions concerning a possible transaction involving the sale of the company.

“Although discussions are continuing, we have not reached an agreement on a transaction, and there can be no assurance that these discussions will lead to an agreement or a completed transaction,” Robert Edwards, president and chief executive officer, said during an earnings call discussing its fourth quarter 2013 sales results.

Edwards reported that Safeway’s private brand sales reached an all-time high in 2013 at 28.1 percent, as measured as a percent of total grocery sales.
“Additionally, we continue to realize success with our multi-category organic and natural brands,” he said. “Open Nature sales increased 42 percent from last year and exceeded $200 million in 2013. We now have over 450 Open Nature items. Innovation of private brands continues, as we launched 774 new private brand items in 2013.”

Edwards also spoke of Safeway’s current initiatives, which include clustering, localization and personalization.

“We remain committed to driving sales, operating income and market share through core grocery business growth. To generate these results, we are focused on delivering value to our shoppers, offering a relevant assortment and providing a differentiated in-store experience. We continue to evolve our customer-centric approach down to the store level, while also driving a stronger level of personalization. We're encouraged by the results we have seen from these initiatives to date.”

Safeway’s initial efforts are focused on redesigning center of the store, enhancing its premium offering and increasing local assortment.

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