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SHOPPERS CHARGE ACCOUNTS CO. REPORTS 7.9% INCREASE IN HOLIDAY SALES FOR SPECIALTY RETAILERS IN ITS PRIVATE LABEL CREDIT CARD PROGRAM

 JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., a company that administers private label credit card programs for independent retailers nationwide, today reported that charge card sales rose 7.9% over prior year levels during the 1993 holiday selling season.
 The increase was based on private label credit card transactions during the Nov. 20-Dec. 24 period at some 700 stores that utilize the Jersey City-based company's program. Sales for the full calendar year were up 8%. SCA primarily services apparel, jewelry, giftware and junior department stores.
 SCA's increases for the holiday season and full year followed double-digit gains during the comparable 1992 periods, when retailers were rebounding from sluggish 1991 sales, vice president Andrew Eichenbaum noted.
 "We experienced a sizable advance in charge volume during the 1992 season," Mr. Eichenbaum said. "Our gains during the 1993 period, though not as dramatic, were demonstrative of more consistent increases in charge account usage during the course of 1993. In general, with an improving economy bolstering consumer confidence, we found that shoppers were using their credit cards more freely during this past season."
 Growth rates during the season were strongest at the company's moderate- to medium-priced merchants. "This was anticipated, as higher- end apparel stores, particularly women's, have historically generated modest increases during the holidays," he said.
 As in 1992, SCA's volume also benefited from a more concerted effort by its merchants to market to their private label charge account customers. "We've continued to aggressively help our retailers market their charge programs," Mr. Eichenbaum said. "In particular, deferred billing was again a big factor. A number of merchants took advantage of this program and realized excellent results."
 "Our merchants," he continued, "also took advantage of improved instant credit programs at Shoppers Charge Accounts. New account applications were up for the entire year over 1992 levels and rose substantially during December, all of which points to an excellent beginning for 1994."
 -0- 1/6/94
 /CONTACT: Andrew Eichenbaum of Shoppers Charge Accounts, 201-217-4715, or Bill Parness of Parness & Associates, 908-290-0121/


CO: Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. ST: New Jersey IN: REA SU:

MP -- NY057 -- 6997 01/06/94 12:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 6, 1994
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