18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.VONSSafeway Inc.View

18.2 How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Safeway believes that the proposed .VONS gTLD has the potential to offer the following benefits to Internet users:

1) Establish a trusted source of information about VONS for the millions of consumers who purchase goods in its stores and online, for investors seeking information about Safeway, and for the general Internet user population as a whole;

2) Provide Safeway and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates with short and memorable Internet addresses;

3) Improve navigation to VONS products, services, advertising campaigns, public interest content, public awareness initiatives, etc.;

4) Through the adoption of new gTLDs by the wider Internet community, benefit users from a lower incidence of phishing and malware, which are often associated with typos of domain names in the .COM space and owned by cybersquatters, since they will be navigating to domain names in gTLDs like .VONS instead;

5) Minimize the cost and need for defensive registrations because domain names within the .VONS gTLD will be allocated by Safeway only; and

6) Develop a potential platform for the secure access to, and purchase of, VONS products and information, in order to minimize the potential for counterfeit or infringing goods and services.

Given its broad consumer base and operations in the U.S., Safeway believes that the .VONS gTLD can provide an online, single-source identifying function for consumers.

18.2.1 What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?

The primary mission and purpose of the .VONS gTLD is to provide a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive online vehicle to deliver VONS content and products, as well as information about the companyʹs brands, business, and focus. As VONS continues to expand, it is the companyʹs desire to continue to pursue and develop opportunities to market and distribute its products and brands through a variety of platforms, including the Internet. Given that consumers are increasingly demanding access to companies and brands via a number of online channels, including domain names, Safeway believes that the .VONS gTLD has the potential to provide an innovative, virtual avenue to VONS products and information that will deepen and broaden the companyʹs relationship with consumers.

Through use of the .VONS gTLD, Safeway will also be able to provide access to VONS content, brands, and products in a namespace devoid of piracy, cybersquatting, and other malicious cybercriminal activities. Providing consumers with a safe experience is paramount to Safeway, and the .VONS gTLD will be used to further that goal.

While Fortune 500 companies such as Safeway must fight a never-ending battle to protect their intellectual property from piracy on the Internet, the .VONS gTLD has the potential to offer consumers a safe and intuitive means of accessing authorized VONS content and products.

18.2.2 What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

As a .BRAND gTLD, the primary driving factors behind .VONS are differentiation and innovation. The success of the gTLD will not be measured by the number of domain names registered, but by the levels of consumer recognition and trust that are placed in .VONS. Using this as a benchmark, Safeway will strive to build consumer recognition and trust, through the usage of .VONS, that rise to the levels of those found in the .EDU and .GOV gTLDs.

18.2.3 What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

Safeway believes that the .VONS gTLD will provide a single, trusted, ecosystem experience for Internet users worldwide, particularly consumers seeking VONS products or information online. In addition to providing VONS with short, memorable, and intuitive domain names, the .VONS gTLD will also indicate to users that they are navigating in a secure space where all domain names and content are owned and controlled by Safeway and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates, thereby assuring them that they are protected from potential unauthorized, infringing, pirated, or malicious content.

The initial use of the .VONS gTLD will involve the registration of only a limited number of second-level domain names. This initial use will provide Safewayʹs IT and security personnel with the ability to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access to VONS websites, and interoperability with various software and Web⁄mobile-based applications. Once the appropriate security and stability issues have been satisfactorily addressed, Safeway will likely begin allocating domain names for internal use and may redirect new .VONS domain names to pre-existing content. This phased rollout will likely take place over a multi-year period, but is subject to change depending upon a range of external factors.

During this same period of time, Safeway will evaluate potential strategies to use the .VONS gTLD in other ways that will advance the companyʹs corporate mission and goals.

18.2.4 Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

Safeway currently intends for the .VONS gTLD to be initially used exclusively by Safeway and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. Because of this condition, any registration and use requirements are more appropriately vested in these corporate⁄affiliate agreements and not in a domain name registration agreement.

Notwithstanding this, Safeway will incorporate all required ICANN consensus policies and other legal⁄policy requirements imposed on new gTLD applicants into the terms and conditions of the domain name registration agreement that each qualified subsidiary or affiliate would execute.

18.2.5 Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.

Due to the fact that every domain name within the .VONS gTLD will be registered to VONS and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates, the company has a vested interest in ensuring that accurate and current domain name information is readily available in connection with each .VONS domain name. For the .VONS gTLD, all private and confidential information will be protected.

Safeway will ensure that the operation of the .VONS gTLD will be consistent with its U.S. Privacy Policy, see http:⁄⁄www.safeway.com⁄ShopStores⁄Privacy-Policy.page.

In addition, Safeway intends to incorporate contractual language in its Registry-Registrar Agreement (RRA) modeled after language that has been included in the template Registry Agreement that has been successfully utilized by existing ICANN gTLD Registry Operators. The template Registry Agreement states, “Registry Operator shall (i) notify each ICANN-accredited registrar that is a party to the registry-registrar agreement for the TLD of the purposes for which data about any identified or identifiable natural person (“Personal Data”) submitted to Registry Operator by such registrar is collected and used under this Agreement or otherwise and the intended recipients (or categories of recipients) of such Personal Data, and (ii) require such registrar to obtain the consent of each registrant in the TLD for such collection and use of Personal Data. Registry Operator shall take reasonable steps to protect Personal Data collected from such registrar from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration or destruction. Registry Operator shall not use or authorize the use of Personal Data in a way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrars.ʺ

18.2.6 Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

While Safeway sees the potential for this gTLD to play a role in VONSʹ future online strategic initiatives, this role will likely be shaped by consumer recognition and the adoption of new gTLDs, as well as the response from search engines in the marketplace. These factors will also likely influence the degree to which .VONS is used and communication about that usage.

Notwithstanding this, Safeway plans to initially start using .VONS domain names as redirects to existing VONS .COM domain names. Safeway also plans to carefully review the release of new gTLDs by others, the response from search engines to .BRAND gTLDs, and consumer perception. As the marketplace evolves, Safeway will invest in outreach and communication as needed, to ensure that consumers, as well as Internet users as a whole, continue to interact online with VONS in a simplified and efficient manner.

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