BRITISH RETAILERS SLASH PRICES FOR WAL-MART'S ARRIVAL

LONDON -- The impending arrival in Britain of Wal-Mart Stores has inspired English retailers to cut prices and try innovative store formats.Safeway, Hayes, England, said it will launch a $46.8 million (30 million pound) price promotion aimed at boosting its flagging sales. The price promotion came as Safeway faced calls for its chief executive to resign because of the retailer's continuing poor performance.Safeway

LONDON -- The impending arrival in Britain of Wal-Mart Stores has inspired English retailers to cut prices and try innovative store formats.

Safeway, Hayes, England, said it will launch a $46.8 million (30 million pound) price promotion aimed at boosting its flagging sales. The price promotion came as Safeway faced calls for its chief executive to resign because of the retailer's continuing poor performance.

Safeway also announced plans to create more than 3,500 jobs by opening 12 stores and 35 convenience stores as part of a joint venture in the U.K. with BP.

J. Sainsbury, London, Britain's second-largest supermarket chain, has said it will cut prices as well, according to published reports. The company has said the price cuts will focus on such day-to-day items as bread, eggs and salmon.

According to published reports, Sainsbury also said it will introduce a new convenience-store format, Sainsbury Local. About 200 of these stores are scheduled to open in the next three years, mostly in southeast England.