Safeway, the Start-Up
In 1915, M.B. Skaggs, an ambitious young man in the small Idaho town of American Falls, purchased a tiny grocery store from his father. M.B.'s business strategy, to give his customers value and to expand by keeping a narrow profit margin, proved spectacularly successful. By 1926 he had opened 428 Skaggs stores in 10 states. M.B. almost doubled the size of his business that year when he merged his company with 322 Safeway (formerly Selig) stores and incorporated as Safeway, Inc. Two years later, M.B. listed Safeway on the New York Stock Exchange. M.B. did not let the difficulties of the Great Depression dilute his pioneering focus on value for customers. In the 1930s, Safeway introduced produce pricing by the pound, added “sell by” dates on perishables to assure freshness, nutritional labeling and even created some of the first parking lots.
M.B. Skagg’s value vision still drives Safeway, though on a dramatically larger scale. Today, Safeway operates as a banner of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. With both a strong local presence and national scale, the company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2017 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave nearly $300 million in food and financial support. These efforts helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities and veterans outreach.