Inbox: digital groceries, pay for news, tag your bag

By Chuck Taylor

Miscellany from our inbox …

Electronic coupons at Safeway

Safeway is experimenting with using mobile apps and the Web to deliver discounts to shoppers who are registered with a Club Card. The program is called Just for U and has been rolled out in Washington and Oregon. Says a company exec:

Gone are the days where shoppers have to clip coupons, browse through ads or promotional flyers, or bring a handwritten shopping list to the store. With Just for U, Pacific Northwest Safeway shoppers are able to easily save time and money. Shoppers can now download personalized savings just for them right to their Safeway Club Card and compile a customized shopping list online or while on-the-go using their mobile smart phone.

Get ready to pay

McClatchy Co., the big newspaper chain that owns the Tacoma News Tribune, The Olympian, the Tri-City Herald, the Bellingham Herald and 49 percent of the Seattle Times Co., has told employees that it will eventually charge for electronic access to news on all platforms.

The company has been testing what’s known in the newspaper business as a tiered pay wall — permitting a certain level of access to news per month at no cost before readers have to subscribe — in Sacramento and Modesto, Calif., Fort Worth, Biloxi, Miss., and Columbus, Ohio. “The experiences of these papers will determine how and under what schedule to extend to all papers,” wrote McClatchy vice president of news Anders Gyllenhaal in an internal memo quoted by blogger Jim Romenesko. Gyllenhaal continues:

We’ve learned that many light online users are unlikely to become subscribers — but that our loyal print and online customers are willing to sign up in exchange for a multi-media subscription that would include the print edition, web, smart phones and the e-edition.

Next, lose your own bag?

Alaska Airlines says it is expanding an experiment in “self-bag tagging for customers traveling out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The process allows customers to print and attach their own luggage tags from a self-service kiosk in the airport lobby and then, in one step, show their identification and drop their bag off with an airline representative for security screening and loading onto an aircraft.”

Summer job danger

The state Department of Labor and Industries is offering safety tips for young workers taking summer jobs because “among those killed on the job in Washington last year were five young men under the age of 25, including one who was just 18. An average of 79 young men and women between 16 and 24 are hurt on the job every day across the state.”