Safeway's pledge of independence

Safeway chief executive Carlos Criado-Perez told delegates at the IGD Convention on Tuesday that he wants the supermarket chain to remain independent.

Speculation has mounted recently that Asda might take over Safeway, but Criado-Perez insisted: 'We have had no interest. This (Asda/Safeway deal rumour) has been in the market for 10 years and sometimes it gets more exciting, like now, and sometimes it gets dull.'

He conceded that significant scale would only come via an acquisition of stores. 'If there was a company on the ropes, then we'd look at it,' he said.