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    Safeway.com Up and Running in D.C., Baltimore Areas

    WASHINGTON -- Safeway, Inc.'s Safeway.com online grocery delivery service is fully operational in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas, the company said yesterday. The service went live two weeks ago, Safeway said, and is the latest extension of Safeway's e-commerce strategy that already online in many areas on the West Coast and in the greater Philadelphia area through Safeway.com, Vons.com, and Genuardis.com.

    WASHINGTON -- Safeway, Inc.'s Safeway.com online grocery delivery service is fully operational in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas, the company said yesterday. The service went live two weeks ago, Safeway said, and is the latest extension of Safeway's e-commerce strategy that already online in many areas on the West Coast and in the greater Philadelphia area through Safeway.com, Vons.com, and Genuardis.com.

    Among the features offered to D.C.- and Baltimore-area residents are exclusive delivery of prescription refills, and same-day delivery for orders placed before 9:30 a.m., at no extra charge. Additionally, the Express List tool lets users do their shopping in less than 20 minutes; customers just type their shopping list into the virtual notepad and find all their items with one click, the company said. Almost all items carried by Safeway stores can be purchased online at store prices, including Safeway Club Card specials.

    "We have found that our busy customers appreciate the time-saving benefits of online grocery delivery service. Washington, D.C.- and Baltimore-area residents will now be able to have quality groceries delivered at their convenience and with Safeway's satisfaction guarantee," said Safeway.com president Mitch Rhodes in a statement.

    Created to follow the actual layout of the aisles in stores, the Web site has products organized by various sections, such as frozen foods, dairy products, fresh produce, grocery, and nonfoods. Additionally, online shoppers can select their preferred brands and choose fruits and vegetables according to their individual ripeness requirements. Orders are accepted daily, and deliveries are made six days a week (Sundays excepted) between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., within a two-hour time slot selected by the customer. Further, if shoppers order before 9:30 a.m. on a delivery day, they can receive same-day delivery.

    "Safeway.com goes to great lengths to ensure that fresh, quality goods are delivered to meet each customer's high expectations," said Lesa Musatto, Safeway.com s.v.p. of marketing. "Every order is hand-picked by experienced 'Personal Shoppers' from a nearby Safeway store, then carefully packaged and delivered in temperature-controlled trucks. We refrigerate groceries exactly as shoppers would find them in-store. Our drivers do not accept tips, and will deliver your order all the way to your kitchen counter."

    Safeway.com employs specialized temperature-controlled trucks to safeguard food safety and freshness: Frozen goods are stored in a specially designed freezer compartment, produce and other perishables are kept in a separate refrigerated section, and dry products are placed under ambient temperatures.

    First-time customers who type in the code "FREE" at checkout will get free delivery on their inaugural order. The cost of the service is $9.95 on orders $50 to $149 and $4.95 on orders over $150.

    Safeway.com also currently delivers in Portland, Ore.; Vancouver, Wash.; Sacramento, Calif.; the greater San Francisco Bay area; San Jose, Calif.; and Phoenix. Vons.com delivers to the greater Los Angeles and San Diego markets, while Genuardis.com services the Philadelphia market.

    Safeway.com is 50 percent owned by Safeway and 35 percent owned by Tesco plc, the top U.K. food retailer and the operator of Tesco.com, the world's most successful seller of groceries online. Safeway operates 1,802 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $35.8 billion last year.

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