retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Safeway Inc. yesterday issued its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, pointing to a number of activities undertaken by the company over the past year.

Some examples: The company raised more than $32 million for breast cancer and prostate cancer research in 2008 alone, and gave more than $175 million in food to local food banks last year. Safeway also said that it “is one of the largest retail purchasers of wind energy, using 90,000 megawatt hours of wind energy, enough to power all 303 Safeway retail fuel stations, all stores in San Francisco, California and Boulder, Colorado, as well as all of the company headquarters and all corporate offices in Northern California.”

And, company pointed to its development of a healthcare plan for employees focused on prevention and behavior incentives, and its creation of organic and environmentally friendly as indicative of its broad definition of social responsibility.

• Sprouts Farmers Market announced that it is opening a new 25,000 square foot store in Coppell, Texas, right in the middle of the DFW Metroplex. The store is the eighth Sprouts unit in Texas, and continues the company’s marketing strategy of pitching high-quality natural and organic foods with lower prices than might be charged at higher end natural/organic supermarkets. The opening date is scheduled to be May 22.

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