Safeway launches first hypermarket

Safeway has unveiled its first hypermarket, with a retail concept

designed to support the company's claims to provide the leading

supermarket experience in the UK.



The 58,000 sq ft store, in Plymouth, Devon, includes Safeway's first

electricals department, selling a range of cameras, CDs, TVs and DVD

equipment, and a browser area where magazines and entertainment products

are on sale.



The electrical products will follow Safeway's promotional strategy with

a guarantee to be cheaper than other retailers.



In another first for Safeway, a dedicated department will offer a broad

range of homewares products, while the hypermarket also boasts the

chain's biggest pharmacy, with a comprehensive health and beauty area,

stocking brands such as Clinique and featuring a nail bar staffed by

trained beauticians.



It also introduces Safeway's first significant books offer, and an area

for freshly cooked food, sold to be taken away or eaten at an in-store

cafe.



Safeway chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez said the Plymouth store was

"a major step in the roll-out of New Safeway".



Last month, the chain, which is fourth in the UK market behind Tesco,

Sainsbury's and Asda, reported an 8% rise in interim pre-tax profit and

a 3% increase in operating profit.



The chain has invested heavily in promotions since it scrapped its ABC

Card loyalty scheme at the beginning of last year.



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