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Safeway Predicts 2008 Growth

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. Safeway Inc. predicted at a analysts and institutional investors conference on Thursday that strong sales at its revamped “lifestyle” stores and cost-cutting measures will help drive earnings growth in 2008.

Safeway said strong contributions from the stores will help same-store sales grow 3% to 3.2% in 2008. Cost reductions also will help boost the company’s operating margin, according to the company.

Safeway plans to spend $1.70 billion to $1.75 billion in 2008 to build 20 to 25 new “lifestyle” stores and remodel 250 to 255 stores into the format.

“Innovation has been, and will continue to be, the key to our success,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. “We have developed highly successful programs to reduce costs, improve service, enhance the quality of products and the shopping environment, and have established new growth vehicles. We believe this will ensure our long-term growth.”

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NPD outlines popular houseware purchases

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Stand mixers, waffle irons and slow cookers, topped the list of most “giftable” kitchen electronics this year.

According to The NPD Group, 27.4% of consumers surveyed purchased a stand mixer as a gift, the waffle iron followed at 26.5% and the slow cooker at 24%.

Dinnerware and home textiles were also a popular purchase this year. In the dinnerware category, holiday, Christmas tree and winterberry (in that order) were the most sought after patterns in terms of dollar sales. Popular items, in terms of unit sales, for the home textiles category were cloth napkins sets, dishcloth sets and tablecloths.

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Lowes Foods to offer tickets in stores

BY CSA STAFF

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. Lowes Foods is partnering with Ticketmaster to open 58 Ticketmaster retail ticket center locations in Lowes Foods stores across the state of North Carolina, the companies announced today.

The partnership, according to reports, is the first of its kind for Lowes Foods. The first fifteen Lowes Foods Tickmaster locations are scheduled to open and begin selling tickets on Saturday, Dec. 15 with the remaining locations to follow early 2008.

“Having Ticketmaster outlets in our stores is another great way of providing added convenience for our customers,” said Gary Watson, vp of business support for Lowes Foods. “Many of our customers enjoy going to events at local venues. This way, they can easily purchase tickets when they are at Lowes Foods without having to make an additional special trip.”

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