December 2, 2005


Safeway unveiling "lifestyle" format catering to singles in Canadian stores

A story published today in the Brandon sun asks whether you would like to celebrate the grand opening of Canada Safeway’s new store at the Corral Centre, sitting out in the cold huddled with other would-be shoppers waiting for the doors to open early tomorrow morning?

Not your cup of tea?

Throw in some free DVD players, a chance to win a brand new car, some free bus tickets and half-price sales on many products, and it may be more than worth the wait.

The new Safeway store, the company’s first Lifestyle store in Westman, will open its doors at 7 a.m. tomorrow. The first 100 customers in line will receive a free DVD player and 200 more DVD players being handed out at random throughout the rest of the day.

Of course, Safeway spokesperson John Graham says they don’t really want a huge line of huddled, shivering masses to wait with frozen fingers and frostbitten noses at the front door ... at least not for too long.

“We hope people won’t be in line for hours and hours,” Graham said. “We will have a system in place to provide comfort and make sure people are well-respected in line.”

Graham says staff will be clearly identifying who’s first in the lineup before the doors open.

“If people need to warm up, they can go back to their car and still get back to their place in line. Or they can come with someone to trade off.”

While the official grand opening is tomorrow, Canada Safeway will be open to the public this afternoon after 4 p.m. Shoppers will get free samples of many new products that will be offered in the coming months and everyone who spends more than $10 on groceries gets two Brandon City Transit tickets.

And until Saturday, customers can enter a draw for a 2006 Mazda 6.

“It’ll be the buyer’s choice in colour,” Graham said. “It’s the first time we’ve done a car launch in Canada in recent years.”

The draw will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Graham says the relaxed and inviting atmosphere of Safeway’s Lifestyle store will be the best draw of the weekend for customers.

“That’s the real story here. Beyond the opening week specials we think the most exciting thing is this is the first time we’ve brought the Lifestyle format to the Westman region.

A Lifestyle store is basically geared towards the “change in lifestyles” of Safeway customers, namely single people, seniors and people on the go.

“It’s also for people looking to buy healthier.”

The new store will have a take-out restaurant, a large organic food section, breads from around the world, 100 different kinds of cheeses and a wider range of fruits and vegetables.

By 2009, all Safeway stores in Canada will either be replaced or remodeled in the new Lifestyle format. Last night, the 10th Street Safeway location closed its doors for the last time.

Graham says the company will continue to operate two stores in Brandon, including the Shoppers Mall location.

“At some point we’ll look at how to address the Shoppers Mall Safeway. We will eventually introduce Lifestyle choice in that store as well.”