PLEASANTON, CA-The Safeway Inc. supermarket chain completed 24 of its Lifestyle store remodeling projects in the first quarter, opening one store and investing $413.5 million in capital expenditures. The chain, which also opened a new store in the quarter, reported on its ongoing remodeling program as part of its quarterly financial statement issued Thursday.

Company executives, who discussed the financial results in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, said the store remodeling program was on track to remodel 280 locations into the company’s Lifestyle format during the year. Safeway expects to spend $1.6 billion in capital expenditures for the year.

The Safeway Lifestyle format, which it is implementing in a store remodeling program and also in all of its new locations, features a decor designed to be more inviting, with subdued lighting, an emphasis on high-quality fresh products and, in many cases, a large selection of natural and organic foods. Many Lifestyle stores also feature full-service meat counters, bakeries and floral design centers as well as sushi and olive bars.

The Lifestyle format is one of the factors that company executives cited for the supermarket chain’s positive financial results for the quarter ended March 25, in which Safeway earned $142.9 million, compared with $131.3 million in the first fiscal quarter of last year. The income worked out to 32 cents per diluted share, compared with 29 cents a share in last year’s first quarter.

Revenue rose 3.2% to $8.9 billion in the first quarter for the 1,800-store chain, up from $8.6 billion in the first quarter of 2005, “despite the fact that Easter holiday sales occurred in the first quarter of 2005 but did not occur until the second quarter of 2006,” the company pointed out in its earnings announcement. Identical-store sales increased 2.7% for the first quarter.

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