For many Americans, "going to Safeway" is synonymous with "going to the grocery store." Safeway is one of the nation's largest food retailers, with some 1,326 stores located mostly in the western, midwestern, and mid-Atlantic regions of the US. It also operates regional supermarket companies, including The Vons Companies (primarily in Southern California), Carrs Safeway (Alaska's largest retailer), and Randall's Food Markets (Texas). Safeway owns grocery e-retailer GroceryWorks.com. Outside the US, Safeway owns 49% of Casa Ley, which operates 206 food and variety stores in western Mexico. (The company exited the Canadian market in 2013). Safeway's parent, AB Acquisition, merged it with Albertson's in 2015.
Change in Company Type
Safeway was acquired by Albertson's parent company, AB Acquisition, which is controlled by investment firm Cerberus Capital Management. It paid $9 billion for Safeway in 2014. The merger of the two grocery giants creates a company with more than 2,200 supermarkets under 16 banners, 27 distribution centers, and 19 manufacturing plants. As part of the merger, Safeway sold its Property Development Centers subsidiary (launched 2008), which held some $830 million in real estate assets, in late 2014. Also as part of the deal, the two companies sold a combined total of 168 stores in eight states.
In fiscal 2015 Safeway's revenues increased by 4% due to higher perishable sales and the addition of an extra week. Identical-store sales increased by 2.8% due to inflation and better merchandising. In addition, the average transaction size and transaction counts increased.
The company's net income decreased by $3.3 billion (97%) in fiscal 2015 due to the decreased income from discontinued operations (72 Dominick's stores in Chicago) and higher operating and administrative expenses.
In fiscal 2015, net cash used from operating activities was $621 million compared to $1.3 billion net cash provided by the operating activities a year earlier, primarily due to net cash flow used by operating activities and discontinued operations.