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Supermarkets industry

A chronology of key developments in the UK supermarket industry

Tuesday January 21, 2003

Argyll buys Safeway's UK arm.

Tesco begins overseas investment programme.

Tesco becomes Britain's largest retailer. J Sainsbury invests £100m to open its first seven stores in Northern Ireland.

Safeway changes its name to Safeway plc.

September 1996
Safeway and oil company BP announce joint retail venture.

February 1997
Tesco opens four of its superstores for all-night shopping on Fridays, becoming the first supermarket chain to offer 24-hour trading outside the Christmas period.

March 1997
Tesco buys Ireland's biggest grocery chain from Associated British Foods for £630m.

May 1997
Marks & Spencer's profits pass £1bn for the first time.

September 1997
Safeway and Asda suspend merger talks.

February 19 1998
Somerfield and KwikSave announce plans for a £1.3bn merger.

July 1998
David Sainsbury steps down as the chairman of J Sainsbury, ending the family's direct control of the company.

October 1998
George Davies signs a three-year, £1m-per-year contract with Asda.

March 1999
Safeway drops out of the FTSE-100.

June 1999
Wal-Mart takes over Asda in a £6.7bn deal.

June 1999
Interbrand estimates Tesco to be the eighth most valuable British brand, calculating it to be worth £1.8bn.

February 2000
Tesco links with Esso to create TescoExpress at petrol stations.

November 2000
George Davies, the brains behind the successful George range of clothing, walks away from Asda.

January 2001
Tesco registers £1bn in yearly profit.

April 2001
Morrisons joins the FTSE-100 for the first time.

July 2001
J Sainsbury announces deal with Boots.

Jan 9 2003
Morrisons announces a £2.9bn merger deal with Safeway.

Jan 13 2003
J Sainsbury steps forward to block the Morrisons-Safeway merger, confirming that it is considering a bid for Safeway.

Jan 14 2003
Wal-Mart joins the battle for Safeway, announcing an all-cash offer.

Jan 17 2003
US buyout specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts confirms approach for Safeway.

Jan 20 2003
Retail entrepreneur Philip Green says he is considering making a cash offer for Safeway.

August 12 2003
Competition commission says it needs more time to study bids after last minute submission by Asda.

August 18 2003
Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt receives competition commission report into takeover bids.

Septermber 26 2003
Ms Hewitt accepts commission recommendation to allow Morrisons to bid for Safeway. Asda, Tesco and J Sainsbury bids are blocked.

In the Food Retailing and Supermarket Industry

Consumer Price Index - All Urban U.S. City Average

Food Retailers Net Profit as % of Sales All Firms

Median Average Store Size - Square Feet

Number of Stores

Supermarket Sales

Supermarket Operating Costs

Average Weekly Sales Per Supermarket

Supermarket Store Sales By Department (% of total supermarket store sales)

Inventory Turns

Sales and Expense Growth During the Last Decade

How $100 is Spent

Average Per-Person Weekly Grocery Expenses

When Consumers Shop/Day of Week


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