PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here said last week it is in the midst of a “very aggressive” cost-reduction effort that's expected to provide additional pricing flexibility and help the company achieve its earnings targets, even if demand softens further. The company's stock slid about 7% after the report, in which Steve Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer, spoke of a more cautious consumer amid inflation and economic worries. Burd said the cost-cutting program was ...

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