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• The Denver Post reports that unionized employees of Safeway and Kroger-owned King Soopers in Colorado are voting this week on what the two chains have said is their last, best offer - and if they reject it, the region could face a grocery strike.

Negotiations have been taking place for more than seven months.

• The Washington Business Journal reports that Safeway and CVS Caremark “have announced a partnership with D.C. to provide reusable bags to the city as part of a campaign to get residents to stop using disposable plastic and paper bags.”

Washington, DC, consumers will be facing a five-cent disposable bag fee starting January 1, 2010, but before the law takes effect, “the D.C. Department of the Environment will distribute at least 122,000 free, reusable bags to D.C. residents. The city is producing 100,000 beige and blue bags with the slogan ‘Skip the Bag, Save the River’ printed on them. CVS is producing 12,000 similar bags with the chain’s logo on the flip side while Safeway will produce 10,000 bags of unknown design. The city is planning an advertising campaign to promote the reusable bags, which it will finance using the fees it collects.”

• The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) said yesterday that it will extend the digital coupon program used at its SuperFresh, Waldbaum’s and The Food Emporium banners to its Pathmark chain, allowing club card customers to “select from the variety of premium products they want most, save the coupons to their account and go shopping,” with savings automatically deducted at checkout.
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