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The Portsmouth, N.H.-based Service Credit Union attracted hundreds of new members by holding its first-ever Black Friday One-Day Sale. The event, which ran across all of its 34 branches, brought in people with its 10.00% annual percentage yield for three-month certificates, one percentage point off auto and personal loans and a free $25 Service CU gift card when a member took out an instantly issued Visa credit card. “Most people spend money on Black Friday. We wanted to give them the opportunity to save,” said Lori Holmes special projects and public relations manager at Service Credit Union. Certificate sales at the $1.3 billion credit union were 20 times greater than on normal business days, and there was a lift of 225% over regular loan business. The CU also sold 70 times more gift cards on Black Friday than it usually does. The idea for the sale came after the credit union acquired a Somersworth, N.H., credit union that previously held credit card promotions on Black Friday. Service CU decided to expand on this idea and implemented the sale. It decided to hold the sale from 5 a.m. until noon and promoted it with print ads, branch collaterals like posters and mini posters and through the credit union’s Web site (www.servicecu.org). Also handed out during the promotion were reusable shopping bags with coupons. All in-store Wal-Mart branches also offered water to shoppers and had hourly gift card drawings. These drawings were also held at the CU’s KMMC branch in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The credit union received lots of positive feedback from people who took advantage of the Black Friday sale, so much so that they “plan on making it a tradition,” Holmes said.

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Peter Westerman

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