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Safeway Drops 3-Cent Gas Discount

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here said it has eliminated a 3-cent-per-gallon gas discount nationwide for club card customers at corporate fuel centers, though it is continuing to offer "gas rewards" savings of up to $1 per gallon for card holders who buy certain amounts of products at its stores.

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Safeway said the decision to eliminate the 3-cent discount program is not related to a ruling by a Superior Court judge in May prohibiting the chain from selling gas below cost at a fuel center in Dixon, Calif. That ruling followed the filing of a suit by an independent gas station operator who said Safeway's discount program constituted illegal price-cutting.

According to a statement from Safeway, "Although we recently announced plans to end our 3-cent fuel discount program, that decision was not in response to any court order. The court order simply says Safeway will comply with the laws governing the sale of fuel, and we already are doing so."

The same attorney who filed the earlier suit is also working with a couple of independent gas station operators to challenge Safeway's discount program based in product purchases, according to local reports.

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