Pearle Vision And Ge Consumer Finance Launch National Credit Card Program

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT | Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Pearle Vision and GE Consumer Finance have announced the launch of a national Pearle Vision private label credit card program, offering instant credit to Pearle Vision customers. Approved cardholders can receive a 25-day grace period, no payments for 90 days, or no payments for six months, depending on the purchase amount. The new program is being launched to 373 Pearle Vision corporate locations, and offered to the company's 410 franchise locations in December. Pearle Vision, a division of Cole National Corporation, expects the program launch to be completed by March 2003. "The No Payments for 90 Days feature is particularly valuable because it enables customers to make their optical purchase when they need to without tying up their credit line on another major credit card or impacting their cashflow," said Glenn Marino, president and chief executive officer of GE Retail Sales Finance, a unit of GE Consumer Finance. Other key benefits of the program for Pearle Vision include the ability to offer on-the-spot financing to qualified customers, promotional financing terms up to six months, and low merchant discount rates. "We are excited about the rollout of this new customer service," said Adam Siegal, vice president of marketing for Pearle Vision. "Research tells us, that in uncertain economic times, many consumers will postpone updating their prescription eyewear. The flexibility of this program offers customers the opportunity to keep their prescription eyewear current, while deferring payment. This is a win-win since maintaining a current prescription is vital to general eye health and vision performance." GE Retail Sales Finance, based in Kettering, Ohio, is operated by GE Consumer Finance and provides private label credit card programs, marketing, installment lending and financial services for national and regional retailers in six key industries: automotive/recreational vehicles, consumer electronics and appliances, furniture, floor covering, jewelry and health care. "The success of GE Retail Sales Finance is a terrific growth story," said Mark Begor, president and CEO of GE Consumer Finance-Americas. "It's uniquely positioned to support growing small- to mid-sized retail clients and dealer programs, and a valuable complement to our strong portfolio of larger private label clients." GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company, with more than $70 billion in assets, is a leading provider of credit services to consumers, retailers, and auto dealers in 35 countries around the world. GE Consumer Finance, based in Stamford, Conn., 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. General Electric Company is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with operations worldwide.

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