Analysts are sceptical at supermarket chain Safeway's new initiative in its bid to revitalise operations. The creation of the "director of culture" post has been criticised as "gimmicky," but executives at the company defend the post as essential to transform the business' mindset and monitor other internal changes.

First occupant of the post, Fiona Bailey, is positive about her new role: "I will be championing our culture, and act as a catalyst and influence in terms of liasing with all sections of the business." She will not, however, be giving lectures on the finer points of Renaissance art or Beethoven's Seventh.

Despite the cynicism on the necessity of Bailey's appointment, however, Safeway does seem to be doing something right. We reported a 10% increase in interim pre-tax profits on 23 November, and with store openings and restructurings the chain is oozing with confidence for expansion.

 To read about the H1 results of Safeway, click here