Firm Assumes Control of Talbots’ Credit Card, Rewards Program

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Fall look from Talbots

Dallas—Alliance Data Systems, which manages loyalty and rewards programs for retailers and others, announced last week that it reached a deal to manage Talbots’ private label credit card program and buy its existing credit card accounts.

As part of the agreement, Alliance bought about $145 million in receivables associated with Talbots Inc.’s private label credit card portfolio for undisclosed terms. Alliance said that the portfolio has a “modest” level of delinquencies.

Alliance Data said it will “deliver a marketing-driven private label credit card program that recognizes and rewards Talbots cardholders with a tiered program offering cardholders points-per-dollars spent, plus other perks,” to drive brand loyalty and repeat purchases consistent with Talbots’ historical program.

Talbots, which operates 516 stores in 46 states and Canada, was recently taken private by Sycamore Partners for about $193.3 million in cash.

“For more than 65 years, Talbots has been a distinguished brand–and a respected retailer known for their unparalleled customer service,” said Melisa Miller, president at Alliance. “We are thrilled to begin working with Talbots with the goal of reinforcing Talbots’ well-established brand and enhancing the customer experience through our private-label credit card offering. We look forward to helping Talbots achieve their sales and growth goals and believe this is the beginning of a long, results-driven partnership.”

And Talbots could use the help. In recent years, the specialty retailer alienated its core consumers by trying to skew merchandise and marketing to younger women, but the mixed message resulted in lowered sales and store closings.

Alliance Data, based in Texas and with operations in Columbus, Ohio, was created via a 1996 merger of the private-label credit-card businesses of Limited Brands and JCPenney.




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