US supermarket giant Safeway has forecast identical sales growth of up to 3.2% for 2008.

The retailer told investors yesterday (13 December) that "strong contributions" from its Lifestyle stores and product innovation would drive sales growth.

"Innovation has been, and will continue to be, the key to our success," said Steve Burd, Safeway chairman, president and CEO.

Safeway has earmarked up to $1.75bn in investment for its Lifestyle store network next year. The company said it has plans to build 20 to 25 new stores as well as remodeling up to 255 outlets to the Lifestyle format.

Safeway also gave investors an earnings per share guidance of $2.25-2.35.