News Summary: Safeway's profitability slips in 3Q

News Summary: Safeway's profitability slips in 3rd quarter on launch of loyalty program

Associated Press

THE BOTTOM LINE: Safeway Inc. said its net income rose 21 percent in the third quarter, boosted by the sale of its Genuardi's stores.

THE PRICE OF LOYALTY: The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company said its profit margin slipped as a result of costs associated with the launch of its "just for U" customer loyalty program, which offers personalized discounts based on purchase histories.

KEEPING TIES: The company is betting that the loyalty program will help it hold onto customers at a time of increasing competition from big box retailers and drug store chains.

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