NEWS: Safeway to try out tailored TV

Safeway is paving the way for the introduction of interactive television in its stores with the launch of an in-store TV trial.

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 shop.



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

branded manufacturers.



But Safeway marketing director Roger Partington is convinced the system

has potential to set up a dialogue between the company and individual

customers.



‘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.



‘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.



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