Safeway has appointed direct marketing agency Newton 21 to handle a
January launch campaign that the retailer describes as "very big" and
The appointment follows a three-way pitch that pitted Newton 21 against
Storm and one other agency. Safeway has previously used Storm
exclusively for its DM work.
The retailer said in a statement: "We think it's right to have more than
one agency within our portfolio. The upcoming campaign is very big and
the appointment gives us the opportunity to spread the work load."
A Safeway spokeswoman said that the appointment was considered to be
initially on a project basis. However, she would not discuss the nature
of the project or the amount budgeted for it.
Safeway has refrained from heavy above-the-line spend since 1999.
Instead it has focused on store design and in-store promotions,
attempting to expand its share of the premium market by extending its
'The Best' food range and taking its store design upmarket.
As part of a nationwide store upgrade programme, it plans to open up to
40 Mediterranean-themed 'Cafe Fresco' restaurants in stores over the
next two years. Recent promotions include a summer 'Viva Italia'
campaign and the relaunch of its 'Traditional British' line in support
of British farmers hit by the foot and mouth crisis. The retailer has
also installed CD listening posts, DVD preview screens, and wine experts
in its stores recently.
Safeway is the nation's fifth largest supermarket chain, ranking just
behind Iceland with 28.6% of the £500m grocery market, according
to a recent report by Claritas.