Safeway adding gas, convenience stores | nnbw.com

Safeway adding gas, convenience stores

Barbara Marquand

Taking sharper aim at a new market convenience store customers Safeway Food & Drug will open a gas station and convenience store in Reno, its second such outlet in northern Nevada.

The new Safeway Fast Shop will open at its store at Mae Anne Avenue and McCarran Boulevard in the fall.

The company opened a similar outlet at its store on Vista Boulevard in Sparks a year ago.

Safeway regional public affairs manager Teena Massingill says the company wants to serve its traditional supermarket shoppers who stop for gas as well as reach fuel customers who don’t have time to go into the regular store.

This is part of a national trend that began in the late 1990s when supermarkets, discount retailers and warehouse clubs all jumped into the gas business.

Larger retailers are adding fueling on site to generate more revenue on their properties and to lure more customers into their stores with discounted gas prices, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores in Alexandria, Va.

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Safeway customers, for instance, can use their club cards to get a 3-cent discount on gas at their fuel stations.WinCo Foods, Sam’s Club, Costco and Albertson’s are among other retailers that have opened fuel stations here.

The strategy is to provide a one-stop shopping experience, Massingill says.

“We’re very pleased with the response from our customers.”

Last year, the association projected the number of fueling sites at large retailers would triple to 6,750 by the year 2007 and account for as much as 16 percent of all fuels sold.

The trend, according to the association, continues the blurring of the traditional lines of retailing.While convenience stores are adding such services as car care and banking, larger retailers are adding fuel stations and convenience stores.

The new Safeway station in Reno will be the company’s 19th fuel station in the northern California district, which includes northern Nevada and Hawaii, with 11 more planned in the district this year, Massingill says.

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