Morrisons to revive Safeway brand

The Safeway name has been restricted to the USA since Morrisons rebranded UK stores in 2005

The Safeway name has been restricted to the USA since Morrisons rebranded UK stores in 2005

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Morrisons is reviving the Safeway brand as it looks to branch out from selling to consumers and enter the wholesale market.

The UK’s fourth-largest supermarket group said the Safeway name will be used to launch a new fresh food range, which it will sell to independent retailers from early next year. The food will be sourced from the supermarket’s 16 UK factories.

It means that hundreds of Safeway products will return to British high streets for the first time since 2005. Morrisons acquired Safeway in 2004 for £3bn, and swiftly rebranded the 479 stores.

Sensible

Clive Black, a retail analyst at Shore Capital, said Safeway’s comeback was a “sensible move” for Morrisons. “The return of the Safeway brand is an eminently sensible move to our minds, reflecting the warm heritage and feel that this much-liked label had in days gone by,” he said.

Morrisons also announced yesterday that it will test a new convenience offering, just a year after it sold off 140 convenience stores to My Local, which later went into administration.

Morrisons Daily will open in 10 petrol station shops owned by forecourt operator Rontec, on top of the five shops the group is currently trialling with Motor Fuel Group. Four Morrisons Daily shops will open before Christmas and a further six in January.

Online partnership

Earlier this year, Morrisons announced a partnership with Amazon to ramp up its online offering. The deal allowed Amazon Prime customers to order fresh and frozen products from Morrisons.

Last week, the service was expanded to offer a full Morrisons shop. Amazon Prime customers in selected postcodes in London and Hertfordshire can have their shopping delivered within an hour for £6.99. A two-hour delivery slot is also available for no charge.