Safeway drops prices in ongoing campaign

KINGMAN - The economic situation has many Kingmanites seeing red these days, but the local Safeway stores are hoping they start seeing more yellow instead.

That's because yellow is the theme color for the grocery chain's latest campaign to cut prices on thousands of items, in order to help its customers to better weather the storms of recession.

"It's a very exciting time for us, because we have literally lowered thousands of prices," said Safeway's Phoenix Division President, Dan Valenzuela.

Valenzuela said the chain has been keenly aware of the shopping trends its customers have adopted since the onset of the recession in December 2007. In addition to buying in bulk and eschewing name brand goods for store brand items, coupon usage among Safeway customers has increased substantially.

"We have recognized with the economy the way it is, customers are always talking about price," Valenzuela said. "We just really want to save our customers money."

That's why all 117 of the chain's stores in Arizona and New Mexico have begun offering quintuple coupons, meaning the printed price on any coupon can be redeemed for five times its face value. In addition, every item with a reduced price will carry a signature yellow tag comparing its new price to the old one, in order to show customers just how much they're saving.

"Customers are going to see a savings of up to 25 percent on their shopping experience, and that's in addition to the club card prices," Valenzuela said. "And it's not a promotion; this is going to be an ongoing campaign."

Valenzuela acknowledged that the new campaign comes hot on the heels of the discontinuation of Safeway's fuel pump rewards program, where customers could earn overlapping 10-cent discounts off the price of their gasoline. Valenzuela said that campaign had been put in place to help customers at a time when gas prices were at record levels.

Now that gas prices have stabilized, however, he said Safeway has changed its focus to helping customers save inside the store instead, since that is where consumers are trying to spread their money the furthest.