Safeway for Sale?

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Yesterday, the Chicago Sun Times reported that the Sears Holding Corporation, the vast retail giant that includes Sears, Kmart, and Orchard Supply Hardware, is considering taking over Safeway, the 1,500-store, Pleasanton-based grocery chain. The Contra Costa Times reports that the price tag could rise as high as $20 billion, and Sears chairman Edward Lampert, who is still struggling to turn around his two marquee businesses, would be hard pressed to deal with yet another troubled retail giant. Last quarter, Safeway recorded profits of $173.5 million, 42 percent increase from the same period last year. But holiday sales are expected to be slow, as the company deals with brutal competition from Wal-Mart.

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