Safeway is on track to have completed its best in fresh programme by the end of next March, according to chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez. He said the chain had now completed the introduction of open merchandising for fresh produce; was well advanced in efforts to reinvigorate its bakery departments; while work on its deli counters was now under way. Criado-Perez said Safeway was "30% of the way to having all the theatre" he wanted in its stores. And he added: "By the end of the financial year we will be the best at fresh in this market." At the same time, Safeway is preparing to open its first concept store in Wapping, where it will unveil new concepts for fresh foods and service areas such as the restaurant. Criado-Perez said: "You will see excitement, fun and novelty and lots of interaction. The store will be focused on fresh. You can expect much deeper ranges than we were doing before." The concepts will be rolled out to other stores in the capital by the end of the year. Criado-Perez is no fan of British retailing which he believes is dull instead of being "entertaining, stimulating and something to look forward to". "Product presentation can be improved no end. UK produce is over-packaged and over-labelled. We end up buying plastic and design rather than looking at the most important thing: the product." {{NEWS }}

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