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Upgrade for Advance Auto Parts

BY CSA STAFF

Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts received a credit upgrade from Moody’s Investor Services. Moody’s has assigned Advance a Ba1 credit rating, while maintaining its positive outlook. “This upgrade is a significant recognition for Advance,” CFO Jeffrey Gray said. “It gives further credibility to our balanced financial approach and significant financial flexibility.”

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Sears Brings Card to Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill., Attention Kmart shoppers: you can now apply for a Sears Card. Sears Holdings Corp. announced that starting Oct. 27, customers shopping at Kmart stores will be able to apply for the Sears Card. “The Sears Card is a tremendously powerful brand which has been part of millions of our customers’ lives for more than 50 years,” said Aylwin B. Lewis, chief executive officer and president of Sears Holdings. “We believe expanding the reach of the Sears Card and making it available through Kmart stores will provide our customers with greater shopping flexibility and choices.”

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Visa Economist Adds to Holiday Optimism

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, Visa USA, the world’s leading payment brand and largest payment system, today announced retail predictions for the 2005 holiday season. Despite recent natural disasters and increasing energy costs, Visa USA’s economist, Wayne Best, predicts that the 2005 holiday season in the United States will be moderate to strong, particularly as wage and income growth is expected to continue through the end of the year.

“Currently, our economy is on good footing and should remain steady in the coming months. As consumers continue to feel good about their financial situations, bolstered by sustained wage and income growth, it should translate into a good holiday season for retailers,” said Wayne Best, senior VP of business and economic analysis for Visa USA. “Much will depend on whether Americans will see fuel and oil prices start to level off—or even decrease—giving consumers access to more disposable income, in time for the holidays.”

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