Safeway restructures to lift sales

Safeway, the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket chain, has restructured its marketing department as part of a root-and-branch management overhaul to revive flagging sales.

The chain, which has put back its target for achieving £1bn annual sales by a year to 2001, has transformed marketing to fit in with its new category management structure announced at the annual general meeting this week.

Among the moves is the promotion of director of brands marketing Roger Ramsden, who becomes format director for a new core stores division. Ramsden, who will report to chief executive Colin Smith, will be responsible for reviving sales in the chain’s smaller high street outlets, which account for about half of the 480-outlet Safeway estate.

Helen Buck, formerly director of stores marketing, becomes format director for “Golden core” stores, looking after the chain’s 240 superstore outlets.

Ramsden says: “We have rightly and necessarily spent four or five years concentrating on our superstores business. We are recognising that it is time to concentrate more on those smaller stores which we believe can do much better.”

Ramsden will be replaced as director of brands marketing by his communications controller Karen Bray, who, along with Buck, will report to marketing director Roger Partington. Ramsden says that agency relationships will not be affected by the new moves.

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