Three Safeway grocery stores in Northwest D.C. will accept Colonial Cash beginning this semester, marking the first grocery option on GWorld in more than a year.
Safeway locations at the Watergate complex, near the Mount Vernon Campus on McArthur Boulevard and on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown will begin swiping GWorlds after a push by Student Association leaders. Since the District Market closed in 2006, no grocery stores in the D.C. area accepted GWorld.
The partnership was the result of a trip by SA officials to the regional Safeway offices in Maryland, a representative from the store said. Steve Glatter, chief of staff for the president of the SA, said he traveled to the Safeway office in April with SA President Nicole Capp, SA Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger and SA Senator Matt Cohen (U-SoB).
“We met with the CFO, and we just explained to them the (GWorld) program: what it was, why students wanted it, why it was going to be great for them and the community,” Glatter said.
“They were just really excited about it. And then throughout the summer we’ve been following up with that, and the administration followed up on the details,” he added.
Craig Muckle, public affairs manager for the eastern division of Safeway, said Capp contacted Glenn Davis, Safeway’s chief financial officer, by telephone in late April. The next day, Capp, Kroeger, Glatter and Cohen showed up at his office asking for a meeting.
“It’s rare from my experience when people just show up at our doorstep requesting any kind of meeting with an executive,” Muckle said. He added that the face-to-face meeting helped executives understand GW’s unusual dining situation.
“The fact that there’s no dining halls . is a very unique dynamic – even in this day and age,” Muckle said. “Our folks wouldn’t have understood that unless Nicole had brought that our attention.”
Muckle added that in the coming months, Safeway executives will be working with the University to offer Safeway’s food delivery service on GWorld.
Director of Campus Support Services Nancy Haaga said that the University attempted to contact Safeway in the past two years, with little success.
“Prior attempts were also made to initiate discussions with Safeway in the early years of the GWorld Card Program with little response from Safeway indicating that they were not interested in joining the GW Program,” Haaga wrote in an e-mail. “We are absolutely delighted that Nicole Capp and her team were successful at gaining the interest of the right people at Safeway and that GWorld, the University and BbOne came together so quickly and effectively to negotiate an agreement…”
Christine Fischer, the assistant director of Contract Services, said the grocery option satisfies a community void.
“I think students have always been asking for a grocery store. It rounds out Colonial Cash nicely – especially since the District Market closed,” Fischer said. “We’re excited about it.”
Tracy Schario, director of Media Relations, said the final partnership was largely the result of student leaders.
Schario said, “(They) were able to get a meeting with the folks at Safeway and they found a way to work with the GW folks and break through the Safeway bureaucracy and made a case to make Safeway a Colonial Cash partner.”