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Safeway, the Nation's Second-Largest Supermarket Chain, Exploring the Sale of the Company. In California Alone It Owns About 500 Stores, Primarily Under the Names Safeway, Vons and Pavilions. It's Our Non-TV Story of the Day LA Times, Safeway website

"Safeway Inc. said Wednesday [Feb. 19, 2014] that it is in talks about potentially selling itself," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The story reports: "The Pleasanton, Calif., company, which operates the Safeway, Vons and Pavilions chains, said discussions were 'ongoing' and there was no guarantee they 'would lead to an agreement or completed transaction.'

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"Safeway also announced its fourth-quarter results Wednesday. In the three months that ended Dec. 28, the company reported a net profit of $100 million, or 35 cents a share. That's down sharply from $170.7 million, or 71 cents a share, from a year earlier. Sales rose slightly to $11.3 billion."

With a total of 1,335 stores in the U.S. Safeway, Inc. is the nation's second-largest grocer. About 500 of the company's stores are in California. Kroger, the nation's No. 1 owner of supermakets, owns 2,424 stores in the U.S., according to its website.

Besides the flagship Safeway stores (in 14 states plus Washington, D.C.), and the Vons and Pavilions markets in California, Safeway Inc. owns the following stores, according to Wikipedia: Carrs-Safeway (Alaska), Pak'n Save (California), Randalls (Texas) and Tom Thumb (Texas).

The Times story also reports: "Last year, the grocer decided to exit the Chicago market (Dominick's stores) and sell its Canadian operations. It raised $230 million through an initial public offering of its gift card provider, Blackhawk Network Holdings."