PENN TRAFFIC OFFERS DISCOUNT WITH CO-BRANDED CREDIT CARD

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here is introducing a co-branded credit card that will offer a retail discount with each purchase.Penn Traffic is now distributing applications for the card, which will be co-branded with MasterCard International, New York, and NatWest Bank, Jersey City, N.J. Each of Penn Traffic's major divisions -- Big Bear Stores, Columbus, Ohio; P&C Food Markets here, and Insalaco

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here is introducing a co-branded credit card that will offer a retail discount with each purchase.

Penn Traffic is now distributing applications for the card, which will be co-branded with MasterCard International, New York, and NatWest Bank, Jersey City, N.J. Each of Penn Traffic's major divisions -- Big Bear Stores, Columbus, Ohio; P&C Food Markets here, and Insalaco Markets, Pittston, Pa. -- will have their own individual cards.

"Co-branding will help consumers reduce the cost of buying groceries and will help us build sales," said Eugene Sunderhaft, vice president of finance, secretary, treasurer and chief financial officer for Penn Traffic.

Penn Traffic is the latest chain to offer a co-branded card. Other retailers who have launched similar programs include Hy-Vee Food Stores, Chariton, Iowa, and Kroger Co. and Thriftway Food Drug, both of Cincinnati.

Sunderhaft said Penn Traffic's main goal for the card is increased consumer loyalty, and added the company is backing the card's punch with a fistful of discounts. Each time consumers use the card to pay for a grocery purchase, they receive a 2% discount on the total price, he said.

"The card's rebate will be in the form of a coupon," Sunderhaft said. "Customers will receive a coupon in $10 increments, when there is enough activity to generate one, in their monthly credit card statement."

Penn Traffic is also offering a $5 gift certificate to all consumers who apply for the card during the next six months. As an additional enticement, the retailer sent pre-approved card applications to many preferred customers as part of the initial card rollout, he said.

Sunderhaft added that further promotions and advertisements for the card are planned for the future.

Penn Traffic's co-branded card offers no annual fee for its first year of use, a fixed introductory interest rate of 8.9% and a 25-day grace period.