STAMFORD, Conn. -- GE Capital Retailer Financial Services said it has won a contract to provide private-label credit cards for Venture Stores Inc., O'Fallon, Mo., a 103-store regional discount chain.

The program is being tested initially in nine stores, said the General Electric Capital Corp. unit.

Although discount retailers historically have not issued credit cards, "customers today are spending more time and money at discount retailers, and we think it is important to offer them their own Venture credit card," said Julian M. Seeherman, Venture's chairman and chief executive officer.

"Our surveys showed that the customers want store credit cards and see them as added convenience," Mr. Seeherman said.

GE Capital serves more than 300 retailers and 65 million cardholders in its private label business.

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