SOME OF THE SHARE SCHEMES OPERATING IN THE GROCERY INDUSTRY Asda: The chain has operated an approved SAYE scheme since 1982 and its popular Colleague Share Ownership Plan since April 1995. Staff were invited in March to buy shares in Wal-Mart at a discount of 20%; 38,000 (52%) accepted. Following Wal-Mart's takeover, Asda staff have been allowed to roll over options from SAYE and CSOP, exchanging an option in Asda for an option in Wal-Mart, but those that do still have to wait until the original maturity date. The scheme runs over a three or five years and the tax-free bonus at the end is equivalent of 2.75 times an employee's four-weekly payments over three years or 7.5 times over five years. CSOP grants share options equivalent to 25% of salary. These are given annually to staff who have completed 12 months' service and are exercised in two halves; after three years and six years when colleagues are given the profit over the original option price in the form of shares. Tesco: More than 100,000 staff are eligible to take part in Tesco's approved profit-sharing scheme, and around half participate. Staff must have worked for Tesco for at least two years and are paid a percentage of their salary. In May 1999 the allocation was 3.72% of salary in shares. Safeway: In February 1998 Safeway claimed its share plan was the first linked to customer service standards. Around 70,000 share option certificates were issued to permanent staff with options based on average hours worked. The option price was set at 333p. Staff that took part can exercise options between November 25 this year and May 24 2004. The share price in early June was 244.5p. Since '98 further awards have been issued based on perceived customer care performances measured by Safeway's Mystery Shopper programme. Somerfield: It introduced three schemes in 1996. There is an approved employee share ownership plan for managers, an IR approved Company Share Option Plan for senior management and SAYE for all employees. The company has suffered from its share price being "underwater", that is at a lower level than the option price offered to staff. Cadbury Schweppes: It has operated an IR approved savings related share option Sharesave scheme in the UK for many years allowing employees to save to purchase shares. In 1999, over half the 7,590 UK staff took part and almost 30 million shares are held by employees. In 1997 an additional employee trust called the Cadbury Schweppes plc Qualifying Employee Share Ownership Trust was established to distribute ordinary shares purchased by staff under the UK share plan. Unilever: Unilever has run a Sharesave scheme since 1985, designed to get employees thinking about how the business is performing. The plan runs over five years and those taking part can pay weekly or monthly to earn the right at the end of the period to buy Unilever shares at a predetermined price ­ and they receive a tax-free bonus. Around 67% of the company's 16,500 UK employees take part. Group personnel manager Richard Silander says: "There is evidence that employees involved are taking more of an interest in stockmarket generally and in our company in particular." {{COVER FEATURE }}