Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray talks with a Safeway employee during a surprise inspection of the store in Southeast on Aug. 17. (Lateef Mangum/The Washington Informer)
Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray talks with a Safeway employee during a surprise inspection of the store in Southeast on Aug. 17. (Lateef Mangum/The Washington Informer)

The Safeway supermarket in the East River Park Shopping Center has extended its hours of operations to 10 p.m. in the wake of complaints about reduced hours and deficient inventory in Ward 7 grocery stores.

In August, the closing time for the store at Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road in Northeast was changed to from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. with minimal notification to the community, causing a storm of complaints from residents.

“I informed Safeway that newly implemented store hours were unacceptable to our community,” said Council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7). “In comparison, other Safeway stores in the District of Columbia open either 24 hours or from 5 a.m. to midnight. The east end community was getting short shrifted.”

Following numerous complaints about the ward’s markets, Gray conducted surprise visits to several grocery stores in August, unveiling poor conditions and receiving extensive media coverage.

“I applaud this new management team for taking the concerns and needs of my community into consideration and responding very positively,” he said. “I look forward to sustained improvements to these stores and a positive collaborative working relationship with Safeway.”

Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer

Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her...

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