PLEASANTON (AP) ― The national grocery chain Safeway Inc. said an upcoming expansion in the western United States will focus primarily on the Bay Area, with six sites already selected.

Safeway announced that it would revamp or open new stores in Castro Valley, El Cerrito, Campbell, Los Gatos, Burlingame and Pleasanton, where the retailer is based.

Safeway said it was also looking to obtain city approval for stores in Berkeley, Emeryville and Pleasant Hill.

Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway’s Northern California Division, said that the retailer would open more stores in 2011 than it has in any of the past four or five years.

He said each new store would employ about 200 people.

Numerous rival chains recently have announced plans for new Bay Area stores.

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