Skip to Content
History Banner

Celebrating Over 85 Years at Safeway

Founded in 1929 in Manitoba, Safeway has over 85 years of history serving communities across Western Canada. Now with 183 Safeway stores from Vancouver, British Columbia to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

  • Safeway has been serving Western Canadians since 1929.
  • In 2013, the assets of Canada Safeway Limited were acquired by Sobeys Inc.
  • The Canadian assets of Safeway are fully owned and operated by Sobeys Inc.
  • President of Sobeys Inc. Western Canada: Jason Potter.
  • Safeway employs over 28,000 Canadians.
  • Safeway’s head office is located in Calgary, Alberta, with regional offices located in Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
  • Safeway opens its first five Canadian stores in Manitoba

    Grocery stores were typically 1,000 square feet, and customers bought only several days’ worth of food at a time because quick-melting ice blocks were the standard source of home refrigeration. Customers would provide a grocery list to clerks behind the counter. The clerks would select the items and bag them. The cashier would then ring up the items and give the customer a carbon-copy bill.

    Safeway opens its first five Canadian stores in Manitoba
  • Safeway acquires Piggy Wiggly, MacDonald’s Consolidated and Empress Manufacturing

    Safeway was one of Canada’s first grocery innovators. The automobile age compelled management to augment its stores with free parking spaces, with most lots accommodating up to 100 cars. Patrons were provided with shopping carts, home delivery and weigh scales to help them buy produce by the pound. By breaking the front counter barrier, Safeway ushered in a new age of grocery shopping, namely, the self-serve concept. Other firsts included merchandising events, supporting local farm and livestock producers and a guaranteed meat-trim program.

  • Introduction of Open-Top Refrigerated Display Cases

    Safeway introduces open-top, refrigerated display cases, which made frozen products more accessible to shoppers. Just as Safeway adapted to the realities of the Great Depression, Safeway cashiers clearly announced every price as they rang goods into the cash register.

  • New Distribution Philosophy

    After World War Two, a “distribution without waste” philosophy was implemented, which is now of paramount importance throughout the food retail sector today. Provisions were made for distribution and plant facilities to better serve new stores that were opening across the country.

  • Safeway Expands

    Safeway expanded to include 6,000 items in 20,000-square-foot stores.

  • Safeway’s Iconic Red “S” Introduced

    Safeway’s iconic red “S” was first introduced with a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

    Safeway Iconic Red Introduced
  • 1966 - Safeway acquired Jasper Dairy Company

    Safeway acquired Edmonton-based Jasper Dairy Company, which supplied the stores with a complete line of milk and dairy products and assured the company of a comaplete in-house supply of food brands.

  • Introduction of “Food for Less” stores

    The 1970's witnessed a retailing revolution whose fallout is still keenly felt throughout the industry: the concept of food barns or mega-stores. By offering lower prices and case-lot purchasing to customers, Canada responded with the customer-friendly “Food for Less” stores, an ideal blend of Safeway’s traditional services and the spaciousness and larger selection of food barns.

  • Safeway Introduced In-Store Pharmacies & Floral Departments

    The average grocery store was 50,000 square feet. Safeway introduced in-store pharmacies and in-house floral departments.

  • Loyalty Programs Introduced to Safeway Customers

    The average grocery store was 50,000 square feet. Safeway introduced in-store pharmacies and in-house floral departments.

    Loyalty Programs Introduced to Safeway Customers
  • 2004 - “Ingredients for Life” Slogan Introduced

    Safeway introduces the new slogan “Ingredients for Life” and in four brief years renovates over 180 Canadian stores to reflect the new Lifestyle design. Stores have grown toa feature healthier options, Starbucks Kiosks, a variety of organic and natural options, as well as a large offering of Asian, ethnic and sustainable choices.

    Ingredients for Life Slogan Introduced
  • Tim Hortons Joins the Safeway Family

    Expanding on its Starbucks coffee offering, Safeway introduces Tim Horton's into the Safeway family. Pharmacy services have also grown exponentially to include in-store consultation rooms and immunization programs.

  • A New Beginning: Sobeys Inc. Purchases Canada Safeway

    In 2013, a new and exciting chapter in a great story has begun to unfold for the company and all its employees with the Sobeys Inc. acquisition of Canada Safeway. We are now proudly part of a Canadian company that is over 108 years old — poised for growth and together we are embarking upon a quest to be the best food retailer in Canada!

    Purchases Canada Safeway
icon close

To serve you better, Safeway is introducing 360Health Pharmacy & Wellness,
our digital pharmacy service.

This page will redirect to where you can manage
your prescriptions, request refills, and book appointments, all in one place.


Check out our new mobile app

A fresh way to find savings

Learn moreArrow