Safeway unveils "Just for U" mobile app

Safeway, with 30 Baltimore-area stores, is launching a new online and mobile shopping tool Wednesday that offers customers access access to hundreds of digital coupons and weekly specials and allows them to download personalized deals to their Safeway rewards card.

The program called "Just for U" can be accessed online or via a new Safeway mobile application for iPhone or Android smart phones. Customers can sign up, either at the website or by downloading the mobile app, with their email address and Safeway Club Card membership.

The food retailer, one of North America's largest with sales of $43.6 billion last year, spent months developing the new program. It hopes the savings in time and money will make its shoppers more loyal in the fiercely competitive grocery retailing business.

"This will make it more convenient for people to shop more exclusively at Safeway," said Steve Neibergall, president of Safeway's Eastern Division. "Everyone is looking for savings and bargains. When people see how much money they can save…They won't feel they have to go to Target or Wal-Mart."

A "personalized deals" feature targets a shopper's buying habits, based on past Club Card spending. It offers items, a brief description and a "personalized price," one that's lower than either Safeway's regular price or a competitor's.

Shoppers can track of all their downloaded deals through an electronic list that can be printed out or emailed. The discounts remain linked to their rewards card until they expire and will adjust if the price is reduced further.

The deals might be for items a shopper buys frequently or something a consumer hasn't bought at Safeway in a while. Safeway estimated the program will offer most shoppers about 10 percent to 20 percent more savings than they realize with Club Card membership.

Neibergall said he believes consumers want the flexibility of mobile browsing, organizing and comparison shopping and they'll like the personalized aspect of it.

"More and more people are tech savvy," he said. "They like gadgets and mobile apps. This is easy to use, and people will see the value in it."

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