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Safeway fattens its Web service

The land grab continues in the online supermarket sector as the grocery giant announces plans to launch Internet operations in San Francisco.

The land grab continues in the online grocery sector as Safeway on Wednesday announced plans to launch Internet operations in San Francisco next week.

Starting Monday, Safeway will launch service in 14 San Francisco neighborhoods and three surrounding areas, said Safeway spokesman David Bowlby.

One of the nation's largest grocers, Safeway has continued to build out its Internet business since the year began. Rival Albertson's, which said last month that it too will begin taking Internet orders in San Francisco, is matching Safeway almost move for move.

Albertson's this week began delivering groceries to customers' homes in Portland, Ore., and last month Safeway moved into the Sacramento, Calif., area.

Both companies offer to transport groceries that customers order from the Web for $9.95. Safeway's entry into San Francisco marks the first time the city has seen an online grocer since former high-flying Webvan went bankrupt last summer.

Both companies have said they plan to open in more cities soon.