Safeway is to go on a £70m efficiency drive this year as it moves into the second stage of its turnaround programme. Safeway chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez said: "Last financial year in our turnaround phase we used guerrilla tactics driven by flyer promotions. This year and next we are moving forward with store extensions and a mature fresh range. It is a new Safeway." Money raised from reducing wastage and logistics costs and increasing store productivity will fund investments and deep price cuts. Safeway has already saved £60m through dropping its ABC loyalty card a year ago. The group plans to add 250,000 sq ft selling area to the estate over the next year, including six hypermarkets, and 15 other extensions. The first hypermarket, an extension of an existing Plymouth store, will open in December. Its web site, www.safeway. has been revamped with new colours to reflect Safeway's positioning as Best in fresh'. The multiple has headhunted a team of 12 to work on its fresh food offer, targeting M&S personnel. Premium brand The Best' will be extended to 400 lines from the current 200. Speaking at Safeway's preliminary results announcement, Criado-Perez said a home shopping offer will be launched when store revamps are completed. Safeway will start opening new-build stores in the next three years, at the rate of 10 a year. The multiple announced sales up 7.3% in the year to March 31 2001, and a 31% growth in pre-tax profit to £320m. {{NEWS }}