Headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, Safeway is one of the largest supermarket chains in North America. According to the article, "Safeway History," the company was established in 1915 by Marion B. Skaggs and specializes in providing groceries, pharmaceutical products and everyday essentials to its customers. Safeway prides itself on delivering quality products and services as well as maximizing shareholder value. Safeway's annual report uses these three strategies to persuade investors: its CEO's statements in the "Letter to Stockholders" to illustrate that the company is growing exponentially, thus enhancing stockholder value; advertising graphics of its products and services to assure investors that the company maintains customer loyalty to drive sales; and the repetition of the words "maintain" and "maintained" to emphasize the firm's economic stability. .
Safeway utilizes its CEO's statements in the "Letter to Stockholders" to illustrate that the company is growing exponentially, thus enhancing stockholder value. The letter contains a picture of its CEO, Steven Burd, on the top followed by information about the company's opportunities and progress. On page 2, Burd states that Safeway "generated free cash flow of $971 million in 2012" compared to $751 in 2011. He understands that the free cash flow is a measure of a company's financial performance and provides the financial data to assure investors that Safeway pursues opportunities to enhance stockholder value. Burd also adds that Safeway's "total sales grew to $44.2 billion in 2012, a 1.3% increase over 2011." He places this information in the beginning of the letter to show investors that sales increase is a strong indication of a growing company. On page 3, he includes a reconciliation table, showing that Safeway's net income "increased to $566.2 million or $2.