Stock Certificate, specimenLate 1900'sSecurity-Columbian / United States Bank Note CompanyThe item shown is representative of the one you will receive
The Safeway chain was created in a merger engineered by Merrill Lynch
in 1926 of Skaggs Stores and Sam Seelig Company. The name Safeway was created at that time for the stores and group. Skaggs Stores had its start in 1915, when Marion B. Skaggs purchased his father's grocery store in American Falls, Idaho for $1,089. The chain, which traded under the name Skaggs' Cash Stores grew quickly and Skaggs enlisted the help of his five brothers to help grow the network of stores which reached 191 by 1920.
Sam Seelig Company was founded in Los Angeles in the 1920's.By the time of the merger in 1926, Seelig Stores had 322 stores centered in Southern California while Skaggs had grown to 673 stores centered in the Pacific Northwest region. The merger was orchestrated by Charles Merrill of Merrill Lynch, who later left Merrill Lynch for a period of time in the 1930's to run Safeway. At the time of the merger, the company was headquartered in Reno, Nevada. But in 1929, Safeway relocated its headquarters to a former grocery warehouse in Oakland, California.
Safeway, with financing supplied by Merrill Lynch then began to aggressively acquire numerous regional grocery store chains, including MacMarr (a California chain also assembled by Charles Merrill), the Sanitary Grocery Company of Washington D.C., Daniel Reeves of New York, and Burd Stores of Kansas City. The company also acquired the west coast Piggly Wiggly
stores in 1928 and part of the break up of that company by Wall Street. Most acquired chains retained their own names until the mid 1930s.
The number of stores peaked at 3,527 in 1931, when the numerous smaller grocery stores began being replaced with larger supermarket stores.
International expansion was an early part of the company's growth. The company expanded into Canada in 1929, into the United Kingdom in 1962, into Germany in the late 1960's and into Australia in the 1970's. The company also had operations in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the 1980's.
Following a hostile takeover bid from corporate raiders Herbert and Robert Haft, the chain was acquired by KKR acting as a white knight in 1986. With the assistance of KKR, the company was taken private and assumed tremendous debt. To pay off this debt the company sold the UK division, Safeway plc, which is now part of Morrisons, Dallas, Salt Lake City, El Paso, Oklahoma, and the Liquor Barn divisions in 1987 and the Kansas City, Little Rock, Houston divisions in 1988. Safeway's national presence was reduced to Northern California and several western states and the Washington DC area. Safeway Australia was sold to Woolworths Australia in 1985. Altogether, nearly half the 2200 stores in the chain were sold.
In Southern California, Safeway sold most of its stores to Vons, in exchange for a 30% interest in the company. Safeway pulled out of established markets like Los Angeles and San Diego, and diminishing operations in Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, and Sacramento. Save-Mart purchased the few remaining Fresno stores in 1996.
The company was taken public again in 1990.
In the late 1990s it began to again aggressively acquired regional chains, including Randall's in Texas, Carr's in Alaska and Dominick's in Illinois. In 1996, it exercised its option to acquire control of Vons in Southern California.
In 2005 Safeway began a brand re-positioning in an attempt to differentiate itself as a higher-quality store than its competitors. The launch included a redesigned logo, the slogan "Ingredients for life" and a four-panel "life icon" to be used throughout stores and advertising.DE-Delaware Retail and Related Supermarkets Specimen Pieces Allegorical Featured Allegorical Prosperity Cornucopia Featured Food Featured Animal Featured Livestock Featured Farming Scene