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Citi’s Logic in Sears Deal Is That Most Card Spending Is Done Elsewhere

Jennifer Surane

Citigroup Inc. wants to preserve its credit-card partnership with Sears Holdings Corp., but customer spending at the department store chain is low on the list of reasons why. The bigger motivation: 70 percent of spending on the Mastercard Inc. co-branded credit card takes place somewhere other than one of the struggling retailer’s stores, according to Stephen Bird, chief executive officer of Citigroup’s global consumer bank.