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Staples is debuting new rewards program

Staples Inc., the Framingham-based office supply giant, announced Thursday a rewards program that gives members 5 percent back on everything, including technology and services, and provides free shipping on Staples.com.

The new program is scheduled to start on March 15, and it was influenced by feedback from the company’s small business customers, Staples said in a press release.

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“At Staples, we’ve created an exceptional program that delivers what our customers asked for: 5 percent back in Staples Rewards on everything, plus free shipping with no minimum purchase,” Alison Corcoran, the company’s senior vice president for stores and online marketing, said in a statement.

The program gets underway shortly after rival Office Depot disclosed plans to buy OfficeMax. Retail analysts expect that the proposed merger could benefit Staples.

If completed, the deal would likely result in hundreds of store closures where OfficeMax and Office Depot have overlapping outlets, analysts have said. There will also be less competition for Staples when vying for business contracts to provide office products to corporations.

And with its two smaller rivals preoccupied with integrating their separate operations, Staples has a potential opportunity to gain market share in the office supply sector, analysts have also said.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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