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    Safeway Poised for Growth, Says Wall Street Analyst

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc.'s growth prospects are good, as its Lifestyle stores continue to gain traction with customers even in the face of food inflation, said a securities analyst with Citigroup yesterday.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc.'s growth prospects are good, as its Lifestyle stores continue to gain traction with customers even in the face of food inflation, said a securities analyst with Citigroup yesterday.

    The Associated Press reported that Wall Street analyst Deborah L. Weinswig, who met with top executives at the retailer here and toured a local store, said Safeway hasn't seen any change in consumers' shopping habits, particularly in its Lifestyle stores, even though it has had to pass along to shoppers some costs because food prices have risen quickly since the beginning of the year due to bad weather, disease, and supply issues.

    In addition to Safeway's Lifestyle format, the success of its private-label products will also contribute to the chain's growth, said Weinswig.

    She also said the company is working on a new growth business that would leverage its existing infrastructure and competencies, but that Safeway did not provide further details.

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