IGA CALLING ALL UNITS TO PRIVATE-LABEL PHONE CARD

CHICAGO -- IGA here is offering private-label phone cards to all of its 2,500 U.S. stores.The program, which debuted this month, is a joint effort between MCI, Washington, and TeleCard, Leawood, Kan. TeleCard, a division of RFS Inc., a marketing company, is distributing the cards, while MCI is providing telecommunications services and support. "IGA is pleased to be working with MCI and TeleCard to

CHICAGO -- IGA here is offering private-label phone cards to all of its 2,500 U.S. stores.

The program, which debuted this month, is a joint effort between MCI, Washington, and TeleCard, Leawood, Kan. TeleCard, a division of RFS Inc., a marketing company, is distributing the cards, while MCI is providing telecommunications services and support. "IGA is pleased to be working with MCI and TeleCard to deliver a low-cost profitable program for our retailers across the country," Larry Willis, president and chief operating officer, said in a press statement. "Our IGA shoppers can rely on MCI to back their TeleCards with the industry's best customer service and prepaid network support." About 200 stores already are participating in the voluntary program. The majority of others are expected to follow suit, though it not known exactly how many, said Kevin Burkum, director of communications at IGA. Brent Reynolds, sales manager at TeleCard, said about 600 may have the program in place by the end of the year.

The cards are being sold in two denominations: $10 for 30 minutes or $19 for 60 minutes. They can be used for domestic long-distance calling anywhere in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Both denominations have coins pictured in the background, along with the words "Talk More, Pay Less" printed across the center. The IGA logo is printed on the front left corner, and the TeleCard logo is featured on the right.