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As part of Safeway’s ongoing negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in Chicago, the Sun Times reports this morning that CEO Steve Burd is offering to remodel a Dominicks store there “as a way of showing employees ‘a look at the future,’ a future in which workers have presumably agreed to Safeway's demands for concessions on health care and tiered wages in a labor contract.”

This remodel apparently would be in addition to an already-planned remodel of a store in Streeterville, which the paper reports “will feature a dry cleaner, a pharmacy, a ‘natural’ foods section and a Starbucks cafe.
KC's View:
Not to question the accuracy of the Sun Times reporting, but this story doesn’t make any sense. Major companies in enormous markets can’t possibly be making decisions about whether or not to remodel stores based on union relationships…management makes those decisions because it understands that new stores attract new customers and help keep existing customers.

Because if the Sun Times story were true, it would suggest that Safeway would be willing to let Dominicks’ position in the market deteriorate as a negotiating ploy. Which would be a terrible message to send to consumers there.

This just doesn’t make sense.