E*Trade ‘Targets’ Offline Partnership

Online trading giant E*Trade Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGRP) announced Thursday that it is partnering with discount retailer Target Corp. to place financial service centers in SuperTarget stores across the United States.

The brokerage hopes to gain market share by providing real world access to its services without investing in its own brick-and-mortar locations.

The initiative will launch at a Target superstore in Roswell, Georgia, and add more in-store locations if the first is successful, the companies said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Stock Trades, ATMs and Toothpaste

The program provides new visibility for E*Trade, as customers will be able to access their online accounts while shopping for toothpaste or housewares. The 400-square-foot financial services center will offer financial and trading services including stock quotes, market updates, trading capabilities, financial research and news over PC stations in the store. The centers will also be equipped with ATMs.

Last week, the company completed its acquisition of Card Capture Services Inc. (CCS), the largest network of centrally managed ATMs. E*Trade plans to upgrade the ATMs with Internet access and other capabilities.

The CCS agreement covers more than 8,800 machines in 48 states and three countries.

“With the closing of the CCS acquisition, our new ATM network provides customers a convenient electronic physical presence from which they can conduct a rapidly expanding array of financial transactions with E*Trade,” said company chairman and chief executive officer Christos M. Cotsakos.

“Just as ATMs revolutionized the banking business back in the early 80s, we strongly believe E*Trade’s new ATM network and our financial services kiosks will transform the financial services industry in the 21st century,” Cotsakos added.

Joint Marketing

Target and E*Trade will market the partnership to their respective customers, and plan to launch a joint Web site to promote their services.

“Our business goals are closely in line with E*Trade’s in that we strive to deliver top quality products and services to our guests in one location,” said Jerry Storch, president of Target Financial Services and New Businesses.

Online Trading Boom

E*Trade is the second-largest online brokerage after Charles Schwab Corp.

Thursday, Schwab reported a 52 percent year-over-year rise in net new assets in April. Daily average trades rose 48 percent from a year earlier.

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