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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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7-Eleven 3Q Profit Up 55%

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas, Convenience store retailer 7-Eleven said its third-quarter profit rose 55% on strong merchandise and gasoline sales. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, net income rose to $68.3 million, or 53? per share, from $44.2 million, or 36? per share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter rose 17% to $3.8 billion, with merchandise sales up 6.7% to $2.26 billion, and gasoline sales up 38% to $1.51 billion.

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Federated Details Credit Consolidation

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, Federated Department Stores will consolidate credit-related support facilities acquired in its merger with The May Department Stores Co. These moves will improve operating efficiencies and enhance customer service by coordinating technology and capital investments, the company said.

May Co.’s Earth City credit center in St. Louis will be retained as a fourth operational hub of Federated’s Cincinnati-based Financial, Administrative and Credit Services (FACS) Group division. Earth City will join current FACS facilities in Mason, Ohio, Clearwater, Fla., and Tempe, Ariz., in servicing private label and Visa credit-card accounts for each of Federated’s department store divisions. FACS also performs a variety of nonstore services for customers and employees. In addition, Federated will expand the main FACS facility in Mason, while phasing out former May Co. credit operations in Lorain and Parma, Ohio, and Houston beginning in spring 2006.

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