Special offers, discounts and broader credit card acceptance are all in store for Sears Card customers as a result of strategic partnership agreements that Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is now developing. These partnerships -- limited to travel, entertainment, dining and retail businesses that do not directly compete with Sears -- would create special offers for Sears customers and cross-promotional opportunities for the participating companies. Sears expects to launch the new program to customers in the first half of 2003.
Today, Sears Card customers use their cards for purchases in Sears stores and authorized or licensed Sears retail outlets. Through this program, acceptance would be broadened to these strategic partner businesses. With approximately 40 million Sears Card holders, Sears has the largest retail credit card customer base in the world.
"The changes we're bringing are in response to feedback from our customers," said Kevin T. Keleghan, president, Sears credit and financial services. "Just over 20 million of our card holders have converted to Sears Gold MasterCard, bringing them worldwide acceptance and other MasterCard benefits. However, a number of our customers have told us they want to keep their Sears Card, but are interested in new ways to use their card for products for their home and family that they buy everyday as well as those items that may be special purchases.
"The strategic partnerships we're developing will give our customers access to discounts and special offers at a select circle of businesses and the option to use their Sears Card for those purchases. This is in addition to the benefits our customers already enjoy, such as our satisfaction guarantee, zero percent financing and in-store promotions," Keleghan added.
Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) will be the Sears payment gateway for processing services offered to the Sears strategic partner companies, under an agreement recently reached between the two companies. In addition, Global Payments will work with existing processors of those companies partnering with Sears in order to implement the program.
Sears Credit Benefits
Sears offers a range of credit products aimed at meeting the needs of its broad customer base, including the Sears Card, Sears Gold MasterCard, and Sears Charge Plus. Each product has a set of targeted features and benefits.
Sears credit products provide special values to customers making purchases at Sears stores and authorized or licensed Sears retail outlets. In addition to the company's 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, these values include zero percent financing for appliances, electronics, exercise equipment and other products through terms that range from three to 12 months (depending upon current marketing programs). Sears also holds credit events that give customers a set percentage off all of their purchases from Sears during that period. In addition, Sears credit customers can access their account information and pay their bill online through http://www.searscard.com/ . Neither the Sears Card nor the Sears Gold MasterCard carry an annual fee.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, http://www.sears.com/ . In June 2002, Sears acquired Lands' End, a direct merchant of traditionally styled, classic Lands' End clothing offered to customers around the world through regular mailings of its specialty catalogs and online at http://www.landsend.com/ .
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Bill Masterson of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-2304