Morrisons brings back Safeway brand

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons revives Safeway brand
Morrisons revives Safeway brand
Morrisons is reviving the Safeway brand for a range of grocery products for wholesale to independent retailers, the supermarket announced this week (November 22).

Hundreds of Morrisons’ convenience products will be branded Safeway from early next year. The supermarket acquired Safeway UK 12 years ago, and Morrisons said the brand’s revival would enable it to “leverage its sourcing and unique food maker skills, to give independent retailers’ customers access to great quality products”​.

City stockbroker Shore Capital said Morrisons’ decision was a “sensible move”​. Its analysts Clive Black and Darren Shirley said: “The return of the Safeway brand ​[is] an eminently sensible move to our minds, reflecting the warm heritage and feel that this much liked label had in days gone by.”

10 new convenience stores

The company also announced it would pilot 10 new convenience stores in Rontec petrol stations, with logistics services provided by Palmer & Harvey. The Morrisons Daily stores would be up to 279m2​, and would sell branded and Morrisons own-label products. The firm is also currently trialling stores with forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group.

Morrisons’ chief executive David Potts said: “These are two capital light ways of growing in the convenience food market. By working with well-established partners and reviving the Safeway brand, we are making our products more accessible to our customers.”

The announcement came after Morrisons sold its previous convenience store chain – My Local – to Greybull Capital for £25M in September 2015. Morrisons said at the time it wasn’t giving up on the convenience store market, but was going to go about it in a more entrepreneurial manner, according to Shore Capital.

‘Link up with Amazon Fresh’

Black and Shirley said: “The announcements of the link up with Amazon Fresh for rapid online food order delivery, and these tie-ups with Rontec revealed today, plus the ongoing Motor Fuel Group trial, reflect that claim to us.”

Meanwhile, the supermarket partnered Amazon to announce a new one-hour grocery delivery​ service, last week. The service, branded Morrisons at Amazon, was predicted to add £50M–100M incremental profit opportunity in the firm’s preliminary results for 2015/2016.

Safeway – at a glance

  • 2016 – Morrisons revives Safeway brand
  • 2004 – Morrison acquires Safeway UK for £3bn
  • 2002 – Safeway takeover rumours begin after three years of market share decline
  • 1987 – Argyll Foods acquires Safeway Food Stores after Safeway Inc put it up for sale
  • 1963 – First Safeway Food Stores store opened in Bedford

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