credit card operations

Sears discards credit division

Citigroup bought the credit card operations of Sears for $3.4 billion. That's another step in the roll-up of the credit industry. The idea is that Sears can now concentrate on its core business, rather than financial services. But the problem is that Sears is threatened in its core businesses. In apparel and general merchandise, Wal-Mart and Target are already killing the company. In hardware and paint, Home Depot and Lowe's are dominant. And in appliances, that old Sears specialty, Best Buy is dominant. The credit card business, though declining, was a source of profits, now lost.  [Oligopoly Watch]

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