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    Safeway's Online Sales Expand Over Thanksgiving

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - Thanksgiving shoppers on the West Coast looking to avoid long lines, crowded aisles and picket lines turned to online shopping from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. - Thanksgiving shoppers on the West Coast looking to avoid long lines, crowded aisles and picket lines turned to online shopping from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway.

    "This week, our sales volume is about 60 percent higher than normal," Mitch Rhodes, president and c.e.o. of Safeway.com, Safeway Inc.'s online grocery division, told the East Bay Business Times last week.

    "Where our average order the rest of the year is $125, that increases to $160 during Thanksgiving week. It is an extremely busy time. We all pitch in to help out, even those of us in the headquarters office."

    Safeway.com is expected to double its 2002 sales volume in 2003, according to Rhodes.

    In 2004, the online U.S. grocery industry is predicted to hit the $8.8 billion level in sales, up from $200 million in 1999, according to International Data Corp. data cited by the East Bay Business Times.

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