Consumer Payment Card News

New Kmart Credit Card

Kmart Corporation today announced the launch of a new credit card through Beneficial National Bank USA (BNB USA), one of the nation’s fastest growing credit card banks.

The private-label Kmart Credit Card program will debut March 22, 1996, in 160 traditional Kmart stores and six Super Kmarts located in 11 test markets. Upon successful completion of the pilot Kmart and BNB USA will finalize plans to roll out the Kmart Credit Card to all Kmart and Super Kmart locations in the United States and Canada this summer.

Commenting on the new card, Kmart Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Floyd Hall said, “Our new Kmart Credit Card is another step toward increased customer loyalty and improved convenience. The incentive programs will offer customers even greater value from their Kmart shopping experience, and in turn, their enhanced purchasing power will drive incremental sales volume for Kmart. We are confident that Beneficial National Bank USA, a world-class financial partner, will provide prompt, accurate and professional credit card service to our customers.”

Finn M.W. Caspersen, chairman of Beneficial Corporation, the parent company of BNB USA, noted, “Beneficial is very excited about the future of this program, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with Kmart. Although national roll-out of the program will produce significant start-up costs, we are extremely optimistic about the long-term profitability of the program.”

Marketing of the Kmart card during the test will primarily focus on preapproved directmail offers, in-store promotions and take-one applications in all pilot store locations. The card program provides fast and convenient services, no annual fee, low monthly payments and exclusive cardholder benefits.

Initially, only customers in the pilot states will be solicited to apply for a Kmart card, though the card will be accepted in all domestic stores. The 11 test markets include Rochester, Buffalo, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Columbus, Houston, Tampa, Denver, Sacramento, Seattle and Phoenix.

Kmart Corporation, serves America with 2,163 Kmart and 167 Builders Square retail outlets. In addition to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, Kmart operations extend to Canada and, through joint ventures, to Mexico and Singapore.

Beneficial Corporation is a $15 billion, New York Stock Exchange-listed financial services holding company. Beneficial National Bank USA has more than $2.6 billion in total receivables and a cardholder base of more than 5 million customers. Subsidiaries of Beneficial Corporation provide financial services through their various consumer-finance, banking and insurance operations located throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

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