Safeway is paving the way for the introduction of interactive television
in its stores with the launch of an in-store TV trial.
The supermarket chain’s ultimate aim is to develop the television system
so it can broadcast personalised messages to ABC loyalty card members as
They will be able to see various recipe suggestions and even have a wine
recommended for that evening’s meal.
This week Safeway goes live with Safeway Today, its own in-store TV
station, which will beam offers, favourite ‘Harry and Molly’ ads and in-
store information to the customers at its Milton Keynes store.
Because the company is using ISDN links instead of a pre-programmed
video it can broadcast up-to-the-minute offers and even advertising by
But Safeway marketing director Roger Partington is convinced the system
has potential to set up a dialogue between the company and individual
‘The opportunity is there for a conversation with our customers and for
them to interact with us,’ he said.
Somerfield has been conducting a limited trial of a video-programmed in-
store TV station and Sainsbury’s has the capability to bring its own
staff-TV station into its stores if required.
But Safeway has almost cornered the market in using technology to help
lighten its shoppers’ loads. One of its corporate objectives is to
project itself as an innovative and dynamic firm.
Shop & Go self-scanning is now in 100 stores and accounts for 8% of the
chain’s pounds 6.5bn annual sales. Automatic pay points are being rolled
out and its new debit card, ABC Bonus, will be using the latest swipe
‘Technology is there to solve problems for the customer. If you have
technology for its own sake then it just won’t work,’ said Partington.