In the latest round of large banking entities snatching up retail portfolios, Bank One Corp. - itself a central figure in M&A of late - became the proud new owner of Circuit City Stores Inc.'s private label and co-branded credit card operations. Though Bank One originates plenty of general-purpose bank cards, this marks its entrance into the private label sector. By association, it also marks JPMorgan Chase's entrance into the private label credit card arena.

Banc One Capital Markets research analyst Alessandro Pagani said that the Circuit City portfolio is relatively small, but that it opens the door for private label. "Bank One was not present in private label; this will give them a window into that area," he said.

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