Target Corporation reported a 73% increase in credit card receivables over the past twelve months, driven by its highly successful launch of a “smart VISA” card. Since the end of the previous quarter, Target has advanced from #23 to #18 among the nation’s top bank credit card issuers, and has retained its leadership role as the largest issuer of smart credit cards in the USA with seven million issued. Since August 4, 2001, Target’s private label credit card receivables have declined nearly 18% as the company migrates current “Guest Card” users to the “Target VISA” program. Target says it is gearing up to offer about one million “Guest Card” holders the opportunity to upgrade to the VISA program during the current quarter. Target has also begun the in-store deployment of smart card readers and is teaming with Proctor-Gamble, Unilever, Pepsi and others to deliver incentives via the VISA chip. Profits (pre-tax) for Target’s credit card business have grown from $103 million for 2Q/01 to $129 million for 2Q/02. At the end of the quarter ending Aug 3, 2002, Target had $2.53 billion in VISA receivables, $865 million in “Guest Card” receivables, $586 million in Mervyn’s card receivables, and $651 million in Marshall Field card receivables. Delinquencies (60+ days) were 5.6% for 2Q/02 compared to 6.8% one year ago. For complete details on Target’s 2Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).