Safeway ups expansion

New York City -- Safeway will combat an aggressive crop of new rivals with an expansion that includes nine stores in the West, of which six will be in the San Francisco Bay area, according to the Oakland Tribune.

The chain plans to open stores in Pleasanton, Castro Valley, El Cerrito, Campbell, Los Gatos and Burlingame. It also is working to obtain city approvals for stores in Pleasant Hill, Emeryville and Berkeley, the report said, and is eyeing a new store in the Oakland hills.

"We are clearly opening more new stores in 2011 than we have opened in any one year over the last four or five years," said Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway's Northern California Division, in the article.

In recent months, various Safeway rivals, including Fresh & Easy and Sprouts Farmers Market, have disclosed plans for new stores in numerous spots in the Bay Area.