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    Safeway's Blackhawk Network to Offer McDonald's Arch Cards in Stores

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - "Would you like a gift card to go with those fries?" is what Safeway associates will soon be asking its shoppers, as its Blackhawk Network subsidiary, which provides gift card merchandising solutions for retailers, yesterday formed an alliance with McDonald's and P2W to sell McDonald's Arch Cards in 1,500 U.S. Safeway stores including Dominick's, Vons, Pavilions, Genuardi's, Randalls, Tom Thumb, and Carrs.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - "Would you like a gift card to go with those fries?" is what Safeway associates will soon be asking its shoppers, as its Blackhawk Network subsidiary, which provides gift card merchandising solutions for retailers, yesterday formed an alliance with McDonald's and P2W to sell McDonald's Arch Cards in 1,500 U.S. Safeway stores including Dominick's, Vons, Pavilions, Genuardi's, Randalls, Tom Thumb, and Carrs.

    "McDonald's is at the forefront of the quick service restaurant industry and the Arch Card represents the next level in providing a convenient way to pay for meals," said Don Kingsborough, president and c.e.o. of Blackhawk. "As McDonald's customers shop at their neighborhood Safeway stores this holiday season and beyond, they'll discover that the Arch Card is a great gift for family and friends."

    Safeway will be among the first companies that offer the Arch Card -- which was introduced nationwide last year -- outside of a McDonald's restaurant. The cards have no expiration date or dormancy fees, and allow customers to check their balance (printed at the bottom of the receipt upon redemption) online at McDonald's Web site of via a toll free number.

    "More than 50 percent of U.S. consumers have purchased or received a gift card in the past year," said Gina Pfeifer, v.p., business integration, McDonald's USA. "Making our Arch Cards available to shoppers at Safeway stores further demonstrates how we are meeting our customers' changing lifestyles and needs."

    Blackhawk Network is a prepaid and payments network that provides card-based financial solutions and third-party prepaid cards that are offered to consumers through a retail network of grocery, mass, convenience, drug, and specialty retailers that includes more than 60,000 store fronts

    P2W, Inc. is a trade association that operates and maintains the McDonald's Arch Card program in the United States.

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