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In the continuing saga of Safeway Plc in the UK, Tesco reportedly will tell the country’s Competition Commission today that if it acquires the company, it will create some 5,000 new jobs.

The Commission is holding a public meeting on the issue today, as Tesco, Sainsbury, Wal-Mart, and William Morrison Supermarkets all have had their bids to buy the company referred to government regulators for scrutiny. Retail entrepreneur Philip Green also is interested in the company, but has not had his bid submitted to regulators..

Safeway is of great interest to these retailers because it has become increasingly difficult to find new real estate in the cities on which to build new stores.

Tesco’s argument that it will be able to create so many new jobs apparently stems from its belief that by running the stores better, it can actually increase their sales density, which will require additional staffing. However, since Tesco already is the top grocer in the country with a 26 percent market share, it is considered a long shot to succeed in the acquisition frenzy.

The Competition Commission's is slated to complete its investigation into the Safeway bidders by August 12.
KC's View:
We’re still rooting for Morrison to get Safeway, even though with each passing day that seems like a more remote possibility; this is a big stakes game that is being played out in the UK, and we wonder if Morrison will be able to stay in the game against such formidable competitors.