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DENVER-Safeway will be opening nine or 10 new stores in Colorado this year. The expansion comes at a time when it closing 14 stores–primarily in Texas and Illinois.

The closings are designed to allow it to reduce costs when competing against larger rivals Kroger Co. and Albertson’s.

While those two chains–Kroger owns King Soopers in Denver, the dominant grocery store chain here–are also its largest rivals in Colorado, retail experts say they’re not surprised Safeway wants to expand here.

Despite the sluggishness of the economy, grocery anchored properties are extremely sought after by investors in Colorado.

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