Safeway customers who are also members of the Wauna Credit Union will be able to combine shopping and banking with ease later this year when the credit union opens a full-service branch in the Astoria Safeway store.

Wauna CEO Robert Blumberg said the expansion will help the organization reach what he called an "underserved" area.

"There's no financial institution located in East Astoria," he said. "So we are trying to serve that area."

Blumberg said the new WFCU office would be the first in-store branch for the credit union.

"It's a new experience for us; it's exciting," he said. "We're looking forward to working as a partner with the Safeway store."

Blumberg said the branch office will be located inside the left front door, in a 400 sq. ft. area where ice machines are currently situated.

No specific opening date is planned at the moment, because the project is still in the planning stages, Blumberg said. But he hopes the new branch can begin serving customers by mid-summer this year.

The credit union has a signed agreement with Safeway, but still needs to get approval for the branch construction plans.

"So there is a little bit of process we have to go through," he said.

Blumberg said the Safeway branch will offer all of the services available at any of the Wauna offices around the region.