HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—Earlier this month, GE Money and CCA Global Partners announced they are offering a financing program for consumers. The program, GE Money Home Design, is available to CCA Global Partners and in an exclusive interview Jim Seger, vice president of sales, flooring industry, for GE Money, told FCNews the program is special for the buying group.
“GE Money has deep roots in the flooring industry and is committed to providing a variety of promotional financing programs to drive profitable growth for specialty dealers,” he said. “While we offer a number of industry programs, we are particularly excited about the opportunity to help CCA Global members.”
Although CCA refrained from sharing specific details of the program, it did express a deep satisfaction with what the lending institution offers. “The tools and training provided by GE Money are designed specifically to drive more traffic to our stores and close more sales,” said Bill Wissler, CCA’s Global Partners’ vice president of national programs. “We have been very impressed with GE’s ability to transition our retailers in such a short period of time.”
The most important part of the program is the benefits provided to CCA members. According to Wissler, member feedback has been fantastic and reflected positive responses to available finance plans, associated discounts and percentage of approval. Individual training sessions at each location for sales staff are also a newly added benefit of the Home Design program.
Although GE was unable to share specific approval rates, the company reported they were strong. “We finance millions of dollars every day in home specialty and flooring purchases and our flooring retailers have cardholders with billions of dollars in available credit on any given day,” Seger said.
New credit for the new buyer
Crediting the CARD Act of 2009 (FCNews, Jan.25/Feb.1), clearly outlined rate increases and penalties by lending houses have increased transparency. “Since home equity lines are not as available as in the past and major credit card lines have been reduced, consumers are increasingly recognizing the value of private label or promotional credit and choosing it as their payment option of choice,” Seger explained.
Access to cash for the consumer has diminished, he continued. Credit-savvy end users are interested in promotion credit because it enables them to compartmentalize their spending and enhances the budget planning process. “Predictable payments and the ability to use deferred interest are very appealing,” Seger added. “More than 80% of cardholders with a deferred interest term pay off balances before the promotion ends and do not incur interest.”
For CCA members, competitive financing options are just as important. Consumers expect large purchases like floor covering to be paid over time.
“Retailers that do not offer credit place themselves at a huge competitive disadvantage,” Wissler said. “A successful consumer finance program results in more customers, higher average tickets and more repeat business, all of which leads to more sales and a more profitable business.”