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Business Week reports that Safeway has informed analysts and investors that “it will aggressively cut costs, lower prices and focus on improving its financial position in 2009 … Safeway leaders said the focus on value, such a heavy emphasis on its store brands and strategic promotions, is essential for success as consumers limit spending amid tough times.

“The company plans to dial back capital investments, which have been heavy in recent years as it updated many of its stores. Company leaders said that within the year they also will take other measures to reduce costs such as controlling spending on energy through strategic arrangements.”

CEO Steve Burd told an annual investor meeting yesterday, “We are a very strong player in a very weak economy, and we think that creates a very strong opportunity to take (market share).”

KC's View:
To put it in nautical terms, Safeway is both battening down the hatches and moving full steam ahead.

Which is what any aggressive retailer has to do.