Alliance Data Systems Corp.'s Retail Services business will create and manage private-label, cobrand and commercial credit card programs for True Value Co. under a long-term agreement the companies announced today.

"It's a whole new program," Shelley Whiddon, an Alliance Data spokeswoman, said in an interview. Chicago-based True Value did not have a preexisting card program, she says.

The cobranded card is Alliance Data's first Discover product, which cardholders will be able to use at True Value and any of the other millions of stores in the Discover network. True Value wanted to cobrand with Discover because it already had an acceptance agreement with the company, Whiddon says.

Also included is a private-label credit card for consumers and a commercial card for small businesses, and both will be usable only at True Value stores, she says, noting the official launch date for the program is "soon" but the exact date isn't being disclosed.

"We're incredibly excited to begin our relationship with this retailer and with Discover, both well-respected companies in their industries," Melisa Miller, Alliance Data Retail Services president, said in a press release.

True Value, a cooperative of independently owned retail locations, offers a wide range of home improvement, hardware products and garden supplies. The True Value cooperative includes approximately 4,650 independent retailer locations worldwide operating under the store identities of True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Party Central, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply.

Competitor Ace Hardware Corp. says it has pieced together the nut and bolts necessary to secure a successful cobranded credit card initiative in an arrangement is has with issuer U.S. Bancorp. 

Rewards are a key component to that initiative, and True Value similarly plans to tie loyalty rewards to its cards as well, Whiddon said. "That is being worked on as we speak," she says.

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