A radical new store format and a new attitude to customers represent the next step of Safeway's recovery plan, chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez said this week. Both developments were in evidence at the company's newly refurbished flagship store at St Katherine's Dock, near Tower Bridge in London. The 17,000 sq ft store had been closed for 10 weeks while a £2m refit completely transformed its appearance. Additions include a large fresh food to go section offering a range of ethnic ready meals, and freshly cooked noodles, pasta and pizza. Criado-Perez said Safeway was aiming to "bridge a gap between catering and supermarketing". In addition Criado-Perez has sought to create a "warmer environment" with new flooring, lighting and colour scheme. Criado-Perez said: "White tiles and white lights are forbidden in Safeway. We want warmer colours and warmer lighting." The warmer environment will be rolled out to all stores, as will new signage. Colour pictures of products will flag up sections and the fruit and veg department will feature backboard type signs designed to emulate a market environment. The beers, wines and spirits section also received a substantial makeover, giving it a cellar like appearance with a wooden barrel vaulted roof, and there are new graphics to brighten up the health and beauty department. New flyers for the store indicate a shift in emphasis away from high:low pricing towards a more upmarket range. Criado-Perez said: "We want customers to visit for range not because of pricing", but he emphasised this approach would only be used selectively in appropriate locations. Staff have been given new uniforms and training and are being encouraged to engage with customers, and to provide retailtainment'. Criado-Perez said: "I want to give staff the opportunity to bond and communicate with customers." At St Katherine's Dock, this included new team members who were juggling pizza bases. {{NEWS }}