Despite its recent decision to axe its ABC loyalty card scheme [WAMN, 1-Jun-00] , supermarket chain Safeway last month increased its share of the UK market.

Figures from research group Taylor Nelson Sofres show Safeway surging to 10.5% market share - up from the previous month when it recorded 10.1%. Conversely, rivals Tesco and J Sainsbury both saw their market shares dip during the four weeks to May 30 - respectively by 0.4 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points.

Safeway’s success flies in the face of a concerted campaign by Tesco and Sainsbury to cash-in on the demise of the ABC card by offering special deals and free points to customers if they surrendered their Safeway cards to them.

Analysts hailed Safeway’s improved fortunes as the first fruit of the high-low price strategy devised by new chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez who replaced the ousted Colin Smith last December. This juxtaposes a relative handful of spectacularly discounted goods with fully priced groceries elsewhere in the store.

News source: The Times (London)