STAMFORD, Conn. and JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct 04, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Stein Mart, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMRT) and GE Retail Consumer Finance, the consumer lending unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), today announced an exclusive, multi-year agreement to launch a Stein Mart co-brand credit program. The new Stein Mart Platinum Rewards MasterCard will offer its cardholders a points-based rewards program plus the benefits of the Stein Mart Preferred Customer Program. The companies are launching the new card this month.
"We are pleased to offer our loyal customers another benefit of shopping with us, and we look forward to the opportunity for enhanced communication with them through this credit card program," said Michael D. Fisher, president and chief executive officer of Stein Mart, Inc. "Providing fashion apparel, accessories and home merchandise at a great price has always been our hallmark, and as our customer accumulates points on the new Platinum Rewards Card, her Stein Mart purchases will become an even more attractive value."
The new Stein Mart credit card will offer cardholders a broad range of benefits including a cardholder rewards program, no annual fee and $0 fraud liability, plus all the perks of Stein Mart's Preferred Customer Benefits program and a Platinum Rewards MasterCard. Shoppers can apply for the new card four ways, including instant credit in-store or online at www.steinmart.com.
"We are proud to partner with Stein Mart, and we are committed to helping this unique retailer grow its business and enhance the shopping experience for its customers," said Margaret Keane, president and CEO of GE's Retail Consumer Finance unit. "GE's Retail Consumer Finance credit programs are proven to increase store sales with specialized methods for driving customer loyalty. As we continue our expansion into new and specialty retail sectors, this start-up program with Stein Mart showcases the choice and flexibility we provide to our retail partners."
The new co-brand credit program is part of a multi-year exclusive agreement between Stein Mart and GE Retail Consumer Finance, and it marks the debut of the Stein Mart branded credit product for its shoppers across over 260 stores nationwide.
Under the new agreement, Stein Mart will integrate and promote the new Stein Mart credit card in its internal and external marketing activities. GE Retail Consumer Finance will be responsible for managing the Stein Mart card program, providing customer service, billing, database management and analytics support, and credit management.
"MasterCard is committed to working with its customer financial institutions to develop payment solutions that best meet the needs of retailers and consumers alike," said Gary Flood, president, Global Key Accounts, MasterCard Worldwide. "We're delighted to be working with GE Retail Consumer Finance and Stein Mart to provide a card that will create long-lasting customer relationships by delivering a robust mix of cardholder benefits and rewards that other forms of payment simply cannot match."
About Stein Mart
Stein Mart (Nasdaq: SMRT) stores offer the fashion merchandise, service and presentation of a better department or specialty store, at prices competitive with off- price retail chains. Currently with locations from California to New York, Stein Mart's focused assortment of merchandise features moderate to better fashion apparel for women and men, as well as accessories, gifts, linens and shoes. More information can be found at the company's website: www.steinmart.com
About GE Retail Consumer Finance
Retail Consumer Finance is a business of General Electric Company's (NYSE:GE) GE Money unit. With $163 billion in assets, GE Money is a leading provider of credit services to consumers, retailers and auto dealers in 50 countries around the world. GE Money is based in Stamford, Conn., and offers a range of financial products, including private label credit cards, personal loans, bank cards, auto loans and leases, mortgages, corporate travel and purchasing cards, debt consolidation and home equity loans and credit insurance. More information can be found online at www.gemoney.com.
GE is Imagination at Work -- a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
SOURCE: General Electric Company
GE: Jenny Schiavone, 203-585-6252 or Stein Mart: Susan Datz Edelman, 904-346-1506
Copyright Business Wire 2006
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