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SHOPPERS CHARGE ACCOUNTS REPORTS 5.8 PERCENT INCREASE IN FIRST QUARTER SALES

 JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Shoppers Charge Accounts Co., a company that administers private label credit card programs for independent retailers, today reported that overall charge card sales from its account base rose 5.8 percent over prior year levels during the first quarter of 1993. For the trailing 12-month period, sales increased 13.9 percent.
 Officials of the Jersey City-based company also noted that average balances on consumer accounts are on the rise, reversing a trend of recent quarters.
 The sales increase was based on private label credit card transactions during the Jan. 1 to March 31 period at some 700 stores that were utilizing the company's program. Shoppers primarily services apparel, jewelry, giftware and junior department stores.
 Commenting on the results, Shoppers Charge Accounts Vice President Andrew Eichenbaum noted that the bulk of the gain was derived from the addition of higher-volume stores during the past 12 months.
 The new accounts are outsourcing their private label charge operations for a variety of reasons, Eichenbaum said. "For one, by selling us their existing receivables, they enhance their cash positions at a time when funding from banks is still difficult to obtain. Traditionally, clients use these funds to launch store improvements, expand their operations or discount their payables. Equally important, with retail sales still on the sluggish side, some independents view aggressive credit marketing campaigns as a means to jump-start their business. Many independent retailers are not equipped to wage an aggressive campaign on their own; they'd prefer to focus on merchandising, buying and other key areas of their operation."
 Elaborating on consumer payment trends, Eichenbaum commented: "Average customer balances are on the rise again while collection percentages are decreasing, reflecting customers' willingness to pay down their charge balances at a slower pace than a year ago. They seem to be less bothered by debt. All of this points to a higher level of consumer confidence over the past year."
 -0- 4/14/93
 /CONTACT: Andrew Eichenbaum of Shoppers Charge Accounts, 201-217-4715, or Bill Parness of Parness & Associates, 908-290-0121, for Shoppers Charge Accounts Co./


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

KD-SM -- NY031 -- 5636 04/14/93 10:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 14, 1993
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