What is Safeway? (Products & Services, Discounts + All You Need to Know)

Safeway is one of the fastest growing supermarket chains in America. Marion Barton Skaggs founded it in 1915, and the chain is now owned by Cerberus Capital Management (from 2015 to 2022). 

Cerberus Capital Management is a private equity Management company that bought Safeway for $8 Billion and merged it with Albertsons, Safeway’s parent company. The store has remained private ever since, and so has its stocks

Currently, the store has 909 locations spread out in the USA (as of May 2022). In Canada, Safeway has 183 locations

Keep reading this post to learn all the important information about Safeway.

Why is it called Safeway?

Safeway was originally a cash-only store. So you couldn’t buy groceries with your credit or debit cards. Though it was inconvenient for some customers to carry money around in their wallets and purses, this was the “safe” option. 

You couldn’t accumulate debts on your card, buy on credit, or attract those extra card charges. Basically, you only paid what you had. This way, you don’t get into a confrontation with the store or worse – the law.

Hand holding up five 100 dollar bills

The founder of the store was also a promoter of self-service, which meant that they organized the stores to make it easier for customers to help themselves. 

For example, grocery store layouts were arranged so that the shelves and items were reachable for customers. Baskets were close to the entrance so they could pick them up without help. This strategy reduced employee workloads, and in this way, customers could shop independently.  

This helped with assuring them. You’d be rest assured knowing that you handled your purchase on your own, and store employees did not compromise items along the way.

What does Safeway sell?

Grocery/food, and more…

Bread, dairy and bakery produce, fresh produce like vegetables and fruits, meat, sushi, sauces and condiments. Essential oils, dry ice, toiletries and home items like flowers, tissue paper, soaps, and dry cleaning products.

Safeway sells alcohol in the form of beers, wines and spirits, and mixers in states where the store has a presence. The store also sells cigarettes, but in few stores. It’s best to find out about state laws in each region and contact the store before making any purchases.

Discount items

Lottery tickets, gift cards, and coupons. The store also offers a membership program that allows you to earn points for purchases. You can use these points to get gas discounts or buy grocery items. 

Other services

Safeway Western Union allows you to wire money to someone, do Money Orders, and make payments easily.

Safeway also offers carpet cleaner rentals. You can rent a Rug Doctor product to clean your carpet if you don’t want to spend money on a brand new one. This is cost-efficient, especially when you only clean your rugs once in a while.

More services you can access at Safeway include…

Note: Not all Safeway stores offer the same services. Some may be unavailable, so it’s best to contact the store before going there.

Does Safeway offer discounts?

Safeway offers discounts, especially for seniors, students and employees. You can also enjoy these discounts when you shop from Safeway subsidiaries like Albertsons, Vons Carrs-Safeway, Randalls, Acme Markets and Haggen.

A yellow post-it note with "10%coff" written on it

Senior discounts

Safeway gives you 10% discounts on most products in its stores. The discount day is the first Wednesday of the month in the USA. For Canadian residents, the discount day is the first Tuesday of the month.

Student discounts

Safeway gives you a 5% discount on most products. For example, notebooks, glue & post-it notes, markers, colored & mechanical pencils, ballpoint pens and binders. 

The discount also covers snacks like Nutri-Grain, belVita breakfast & Rice Krispie bars, Pop-Tarts and Quaker Oats. There’s no particular date for student discounts. Instead, you can check for them via the official app or website.

Employee discounts 

Employees get 10% discounts on Safeway’s brands. For example, O Organics, Open Nature and Signature SELECT. If you purchase other brands, you get a 5% discount.

You’ll need to complete your probation period to qualify for Safeway employee discounts. The probation period simply means the first few months of work after your new job. Safeway’s probation period lasts for three months.

You also need an Air Miles card, which you can get by joining the Air Miles program.

Conclusion: What is Safeway?

Safeway is a supermarket and grocery chain that offers an enticing variety of products. You can shop for everything you need under one roof, just like with Walmart and other giant retailers. 

Its fresh selection of produce and low price margin also make it a fierce competition in the market. It’s also one of the few stores that have their own private labels. All these factors make Safeway a great place to shop, and work at.