Sobeys and Safeway will combine their flyers in Western Canada starting next week, in a move that integrates operations of the two grocers.
“On January 29th, look in your mailbox for our new combined Safeway and Sobeys flyer to see what positive changes we have in-store for Canada. We are proud to serve Western Canada, and look forward to seeing you at our stores,” notes a message at betterfoodstartshere.com.
With the title “We’re each working to help Canadians eat better,” the message notes that the two grocery banners are “on a very important mission: To help Canadians eat better food, more affordably.”
It promises lower prices “for loads of items compared to our regular in-store everyday prices,” hundreds of new Compliments private-label products, new offers from the Air Miles loyalty program and the introduction of 21-day aged beef.
Safeway has also adopted the “Better food starts here” tag line, similar to Sobeys’ “Better food for all” campaign.
In addition, the Safeway website contains promotions for the Compliments line and the retailer now has a stamp collecting program in which shoppers exchange stamps for Spiegelau wine glasses.
That’s similar to Sobeys’ promotion that has shoppers exchange stamps for Jamie Oliver knives.
Sobeys West did not respond to calls from Canadian Grocer seeking comment.
A report from Stewart Samuel, program director of IGD Canada, indicates Sobeys aims to bring Safeway closer in line with its core Sobeys operation. Sobeys bought Canada Safeway in 2013 for $5.8 billion.
After spending the last two years focusing on back-end technical infrastructure, including the creation of one core team in Calgary for its Sobeys, Thrifty Foods and Safeway businesses, Sobeys in now better positioned to launch consumer initiatives at Safeway, Stewart says.
Stewart says new products, store layouts and a new marketing approach in Safeway stores can be expected. “With no decision announced on the future of the Safeway brand, the success of these new programs could lead to the conversion of stores to the Sobeys banner,” he adds.
In-store, the most prominent changes are a new low price campaign for fresh produce with an emphasis on “lower prices everyday” and lower prices in other areas with a “better savings” symbol.
These programs “should help drive stronger traffic and improve the sales trends at Safeway,” Stewart concludes.