What Is Safeway? (What Is It Known For, How Is It Different, Type Of Store + More)

If you’re looking for groceries, general merchandise, and services such as Starbucks, Safeway will be able to serve you. Founded in Idaho in 1915, Safeway is an American supermarket chain with almost 1,000 locations currently in operation.

If you haven’t heard of Safeway, you may be wondering what type of store it is, as well as what makes it unique from other retailers. I’ve done the research, and here’s what I’ve learned about Safeway!

What Is Safeway In 2024?

Safeway is an American supermarket chain that has been in operation for over 100 years as of 2024. The current CEO is Robert G. Miller, and it’s a banner of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in America. As well as food products, Safeway offers services in stores including Western Union, Starbucks stores, and more.

For more information about Safeway, including details about when Safeway was founded, who currently owns Safeway, the services offered by Safeway, and where Safeway gets its groceries from, just keep reading!

What’s Safeway Known For?

Safeway is a supermarket retailer that offers products including groceries, foods, general merchandise, and more.

Also, Safeway offers services, including its pharmacy, which provides vaccinations, prescription refills, and health screenings.

Further, Safeway offers products and services, including: 

  • Bakery
  • Dairy
  • Delicatessen
  • Dry cleaning
  • Frozen foods
  • Lottery
  • Photographic
  • Produce
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Snack foods
  • Western Union

How Is Safeway Different From Other Stores?

Safeway is different from other retailers because it’s part of a union owned by Albertsons, which impacts the expenses and wages it pays its employers.

Therefore, it costs more for Safeway to stock its stores, so its prices may be higher than other retailers.

Because Albertsons owns Safeway, you can find Safeway products within other stores, including Vons, Randalls, Tom Thumb, and Carrs stores.

Further, Safeway is available in 19 states, smaller than other retailers, and offers customers a different experience while shopping within its stores.

Additionally, Safeway is considered a pioneer in the produce department, as it introduced product pricing by weight which is still used today.

Finally, customers at Safeway can find exclusive deals and bargains on Fridays when the retailer offers deals on produce for $5.

What Type Of Store Is Safeway?

What Type Of Store Is Safeway?

Safeway is a leading supermarket chain that sells various products, including food and general merchandise, and offers services within its stores.

Starting as a small grocery store, Safeway became a larger franchise when the founder’s son purchased the store and began to expand the franchise.

Who Owns Safeway?

Safeway is a subsidiary of Albertsons after being purchased in January 2015.

Purchased by Cerberus Capital Management, Safeway was acquired by private equity investors.

That said, Albertsons Companies are one of the largest food and drug retailers within the United States, possessing stores in 35 states through its 20 well-known banner companies such as Safeway.

When Was Safeway Founded?

Safeway has operated for over 100 years, founded in April 2015 by Marion Barton Skaggs in American Falls, Idaho.

Initially, Safeway was founded to challenge the Skaggs assumption that purchasing food on credit increased prices, allowing customers to purchase their groceries for cash at the time of sale.

Also, Skaggs was a leading pioneer for self-service, allowing his products to reach customers and having aisles for shoppers to browse around.

Further, customers who shopped at the Safeway origin would be given baskets and paid at the checkout.

Then, Safeway began expanding when Skaggs sold the business to his son and opened a second store in Burley, Idaho, in 1918.

By 1921, several stores were open that would be incorporated into the Safeway brand.

With that, the 673 stores owned by Skaggs marched with Safeway on the 1st July 1926, creating the largest chain of grocery stores, which M. B. Skaggs managed as Chief Executive.

What Services Does Safeway Offer?

As well as providing food services, Safeway also offers its customers specialty departments to ensure they receive everything they need while shopping.

For example, some Safeway stores may offer Starbucks coffee shops and fuel centers, as well as Safeway Pharmacy.

Also, stores may allow you to have photographs developed while at Safeway.

However, not all Safeway stores will offer the same services, so check if your local Safeway store has the service you require before visiting.

Where Does Safeway Get Its Groceries From?

Many of the groceries sold at Safeway are derived from local growers.

That said, Safeway states that a third of its produce comes from local growers, and in California, this increases to 45%.

Furthermore, Safeway has introduced more organic fruits and vegetables into its stores under the ‘O Organics’ label to provide customers with better quality produce.

To find out more, you might also be interested in reading up on Safeway Instacart, why is Safeway so expensive, and if Safeway gas is good.


Owned by Albertsons, Safeway is a supermarket chain that operates primarily within the United States.

As a subsidiary of Albertsons, many Safeway products can be found in other stores its parent company owns.

Further, Safeway offers fresh and organic produce in stores and services, including coffee shops, fuel stations, a pharmacy, and photo services.

Photo of author

Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

Leave a Comment