- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 17, 2005

Safeway is kicking off a $100 million rebranding campaign to let people know it has more than just ingredients for meals.

The grocery store chain’s “Ingredients for Life” campaign, which includes new ads, a new slogan and a new identity, is a culmination of more than two years of reinvention and strategic development. It focuses on the quality of produce, meat, bakery and deli products, Safeway’s proprietary brands, prepared meals and enhanced customer service.

To highlight its strategy, Safeway started remodeling its stores and opening new ones in the “Lifestyle” format last year. The stores have a different ambience, such as hardwood floors in the produce department, with subdued lighting and spotlights on the produce.

Many of the “Lifestyle” stores have large selections of natural and organic foods, full-service meat counters, bakeries and floral centers, and sushi and olive bars.

“If you want to remain a viable competitor, you need to change with the times,” said Greg TenEyck, director of public affairs for Safeway’s Eastern division, which has 100 locations in the Washington area.

Just a few local stores — including those Arlington, Fairfax and Hanover, Md. — have the “Lifestyle” format. All of the stores will be transformed within the next five years, Mr. TenEyck said.

The ad campaign, which starts today, includes television, radio, outdoor, print and online components. The TV spots focus on the choices and challenges people face in everyday life and show how Safeway can offer solutions.

“Our new brand promise is to provide more than just ingredients for meals; we are providing experiences and products that enrich our customers’ lives,” said Brian Cornell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Covering Washington

Budget Blinds, a window-covering franchiser, has plans to more than double its presence in the Washington area by the end of next year.

The company, based in Orange, Calif., sells products from window-covering manufacturers such as Norman Shutters and Hunter Douglas, as well as its own private label.

Because it is a home-based business, franchisees don’t need a storefront or inventory. Instead, they travel to homes and businesses and give free consultations.

The initial startup fee is $64,950, which includes a van logo, training, $5,000 worth of samples and collateral material.

For the first six months, Budget Blinds receives a royalty fee of $300 a month. The fee gradually increases and is capped at $1,500 a month at the beginning of the third year in business.

Budget Blinds has more than 800 franchises. The Washington area has 24 franchises from Baltimore to Alexandria, and the company plans to add another 30 franchises by the end of 2006.

Redrock expansion

Redrock Canyon Grill is opening its second location in the Washington area today at the Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant will have about 100 employees. Another location is slated to open in late June on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

Redrock Canyon, which serves a combination of Southwest and American cuisine, first opened in the area in June in Centreville.

• Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality runs every other Monday.

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