Primary Business: Retail grocery
Description: Safeway is one of North America’s largest food retailers with over 1,740 stores. They are located mostly in the Western, Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and Western Canada. The company operates regional supermarket companies including The Von’s, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s and Randall’s Food Markets. It also owns a major stake in Casa Ley which operates 145 stores in Mexico. Safeway has 30 food processing plants in the U.S., more than 1,300 in-store pharmacies and sells gas at about 380 fuel stations at its stores.
Sales: $ 44 billion (2008)
Net Income: $ 965 million (2007)
Fortune 500 ranking: No. 55
Home Office: Pleasanton, CA
Rather than bring in a Big 4 firm, it’s useful to have Ashland come in because of their specialization within a given set of jurisdictions. The person from the Big 4 wouldn’t generally have that concentrated expertise in a given jurisdiction. They are more qualified than we are in a single jurisdiction and will come up with ideas that we haven’t been able to. And Ashland is not coming in just as a consultant… they are coming in and actually preparing a work product. They handle all of the work papers and prepare the returns and handle the entire process. I managed to stay functioning in total during our project with them. They are very efficient.
I like working with them on a contingency basis. We have to decide if we should bring in more headcount or is our money better spent bringing in Ashland on a contingency basis. I like the latter choice.