Consumers may not know or care who is in the running for Safeway. But that does not indicate that they have no views on the outcome nor how it will affect the price of their weekly shop. In fact, most believe that Safeway is a jaded brand in urgent need of a facelift, according to the results of The Grocer’s latest consumer panel conducted by research and design consultancy ID Magasin.
And, as the selected comments below show, they are concerned about the impact on levels of competition and remain unconvinced by the “low price” promises of some of the contenders:
Sheila, 70, is from Sunningdale and shops regularly at Waitrose and M&S and occasionally at Safeway
I think it would be a good thing to combine Safeway with another company. It would probably bring a little “oomph” back into it. The Bracknell store staff are not that brilliant and the product range doesn’t really suit me. I’d like to see a few more upmarket goods. I’d prefer Morrisons to get it because it is a family run company. I’m not keen on Sainsbury.
Emma, 31, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, regularly shops in Sainsbury and M&S
I think it would be a good thing if Safeway changed owners because it needs re-branding and rejuvenating. Safeway doesn’t seem as enticing as other stores. It’s probably unfair to say, but I think of it as bland and budget driven. When I think of Sainsbury, I think of Jamie Oliver. With Waitrose, my perception is of expensive but good quality products - but what does Safeway say to me? It just doesn’t put across a strong brand like the others.I have no customer loyalty to Safeway so I don’t really care who gets it.
Steve, 40, is from London and shops regularly in Safeway and M&S
If Tesco [took it over] it would be OK because it is a quality brand. If Asda did that would be a bad thing as it is a poor quality, cheap outfit. I wouldn’t want Morrisons to take it over either. My local Safeway is not a good one - the staff are pretty rude. Anything to change that would be great. The best part of Safeway is the yellow sticker deals and their “Best of” range is really good.
Gina, 50, is from Morcott, Rutland, and shops regularly at Morrisons, Asda, M&S and Somerfield
A takeover would be bad. When I do shop at Safeway, I like it because it is well laid out, pricing is good and it has a good variety of products. If it is taken over, there would be less choice. I’d prefer Tesco. A good Tesco is worth shopping in. The worst one would be Asda, because we have an
`Asda and Morrisons in the same place so that would really cut down on choice.
John, 71, is from Macclesfield, and shops regularly at Tesco, Sainsbury and Lidl
I don’t think there’d be any benefit or disadvantage [to consumers if it was taken over]. It’s a good store at the moment.
As a consumer I don’t think I’d know what difference it might make.
Sally, 25, is from Cambridge and shops regularly at Tesco, Sainsbury and M&S
It would be bad if it was taken over, because inevitably the brand would go and choice would be restricted. Do I know who’s interested? Who isn’t? Sainsbury, Morrisons, Tesco, Wal-Mart. In terms of who would I’d like to win, I suppose Morrisons would be the best in terms of diversity. It would be intriguing to see what Philip Green would do with it.
Phaik, 34, is from London and regularly shops in Asda, Sainsbury, Safeway and M&S.
It would be good if Safeway was taken over. My local Safeway is not good. It’s difficult to find products and staff don’t seem to know where they are either. I would hope to see improvements. I don’t mind who the new owners are, service is more important than who owns the store.
Caroline, 37, is from Tunbridge Wells and regularly shops at Sainsbury and M&S.
I hope the new owners would make improvements. Safeway has good food but is not quite up to the standards of Waitrose, Sainsbury or M&S. Also, the store here is smaller than the Sainsbury store.