Why Safeway Needs a Future With Fewer Groceries

Photograph by Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

It’s been a rough week for U.S. retailers. RadioShack is going to shed as many as 1,100 stores, Staples plans to do without some 225 locations, and now Safeway’s merger with Albertsons is likely result is a slimming of the duo’s combined total of almost 2,500 supermarkets. All these businesses have their eyes on different role models for change: RadioShack wants to be more like the uncluttered Apple Store, Staples wants to capture some of Amazon.com’s online magic, and Safeway is heading down a path forged by Trader Joe’s.

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