Consolidation in the retail industry could pave the way for Safeway to acquire fresh businesses, the retailer's CFO Robert Edwards told analysts yesterday (13 March) at a Bank of America conference.

The group also hopes to drive sales growth through remodelling its stores into a "Lifestyle" format, with the inclusion of bakeries and produce sections. Safeway is looking to react to new consumer trends by introducing new products on offer, Edwards said. The group is increasing its focus on quality and prepared foods, he added.

"There are some key pillars to our growth strategy for our supermarket business. First is continuing to differentiate with our perishable offerings; second, expanding our proprietary products; third, completing the rollout of our Lifestyle stores; and then, fourth, continuing to innovate through the supermarket business," Edwards said.

Edwards revealed that the company expects to introduce an additional 300 "Lifestyle" stores in 2007 through new stores openings and remodelling of old stores.