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New Look Safeway Opens

Refurbished grocery store cuts ribbon at Pan Am Shopping Center.

Enormous ribbon, check. Enormous pair of scissors, check. Enormous donation checks, check. Everything was in place for the opening of a renovated Safeway in the Pan Am Shopping Center on Thursday, March 31.

The store, which officially opened the next day, April 1, is sporting a new look for Safeway, and is the seventh in the mid-Atlantic region to do so, said Craig Muckle, a Safeway spokesperson.

The chain, which owns approximately 1,800 stores in 20 states and Canada and has annual sales of about $35 billion, is looking at renovating more of its stores, Muckle said. "We’re going to start seeing an accelerated renovation schedule," he said.

The company is based in California, and the renovations began on the West Coast and have been moving east, Muckle said.

The Pan Am store is 65,000 square feet will have 150-175 employees and be open from 6 a.m.- 12 a.m. daily, Muckle said.

As part of the new look, the renovated stores will begin carrying some new items, such as housewares, cookbooks and an expanded natural foods section in a goal to become more of a "one-stop" shopping location, Muckle said.

The store also has a Starbucks Coffee and SunTrust Bank branch inside, as well as a pick-up location for Bergman’s dry cleaning.

The new design features a warmer color palette, with golden yellow walls, dark wood fixtures and wooden plank flooring in some parts of the store, and a lighting scheme that highlights specific items. Muckle said that the redesign is not necessarily an attempt to be more competitive with such chains as Whole Foods or Wegmans. "We’re just trying to be more competitive overall," he said.

— Ari Cetron