PLEASANTON, CA-Safeway is continuing its plan to convert all of its stores to a lifestyle concept, executives said at the company’s third-quarter conference call recently. For the year, the company now expects to open approximately 20 new Lifestyle stores and complete approximately 240 Lifestyle remodels. Thus far, company opened eight new Lifestyle stores, completed 119 Lifestyle remodels and closed 13 stores.

“By the end of the year, we will have 1,286 stores in that format,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. “Seventy-six percent of our stores will have gone through a major transformation in just four years.”

The company’s experimental 15,000-sf Market store in Long Beach, CA., which has a high proportion of fresh and prepared foods, may or may not be expanded. The unit opened in May. “We’ve learned a lot about what might be possible in a conventional store,” Burd said.

Total sales increased 3.9% from the same period in 2007 to $10.2 billion. Identical-store sales increased 2.8% including fuel, and 0.5% excluding fuel. The company reported a net income of $199.7 million, compared to net income of $194.6 million for the third quarter of 2007. Safeway operates 1,738 stores in the US and Canada.