Safeway is taking its rapidly growing Blackhawk gift card subsidiary overseas, with plans to launch services this year in France, Germany and Australia. Blackhawk is expected to contribute up to $100 million in pre-tax income to Safeway in 2007.
More retailers are offering coffee, Internet access and other perks to encourage customers to spend more time in the store, something traditionally offered only by upscale shops. American Eagle Outfitter's new Martin + Osa division is offering apples and bottled water, Macy's is adding more in-store eateries and Stein Mart has hired women to serve cookies, iced tea and advice.
Loblaw Cos. plans to expand its President's Choice private-label business to 35% of the company's overall revenue by adding more private-label perishables and prepared foods. The private labels now comprise 25% of Loblaw's business.