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Office Depot reinvents rewards program amid ongoing merger

Office Depot has launched a new rewards program with several loyalty enhancements even as it moves closer to consummating its merger with OfficeMax.

The company’s new program, called simply Office Depot Rewards, is designed to reward shoppers for spending money, sharing information about themselves and recycling. It is a novel approach that is intended to offer a more customized approach to shoppers’ unique behaviors and preferences.

"After analyzing several reward programs and listening to our shoppers, we wanted to develop a customer-centric program that gives members the flexibility to personalize their rewards," said Bob Moore, EVP and chief marketing and merchandising officer for Office Depot. "Office Depot Rewards is designed to offer shoppers more ways to earn points that reward them in ways that matter most to them."

Beginning July 1, customers can sign up for one of three membership types described as local businesses, loyal customers or star teachers. Members will receive personalized offers designed exclusively for them and receive rewards certificates monthly for every 1,000 points they earn. Points can be earned by spending money on products, sharing information with Office Depot and recycling ink and toner cartridges.

One unique advantage of the program, according to the company, is that customers can become "Choice Members" by spending $200 in a quarter, which provides more opportunities to save. By pre-selecting products, Choice Members will earn extra points on their favorite products including home, office and school supplies, writing instruments, computer accessories, furniture, cleaning and breakroom essentials.

The timing of the rewards program comes as the pending merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax moves toward completion. The deal was announced on February 20 and shareholders of both companies are scheduled to vote on the merger plan at a special meeting on July 10. The vote is being treated as a formality however as the companies have moved forward with a number of actions.

Within the past 30 days, Office Depot and OfficeMax said they had established an "integration management office" to oversee the integration planning process and also hired The Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm, to provide support for the process. In addition, the companies hired the global recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International to assist the CEO selection committee in locating an executive to lead the combined company.