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Costco selects Digimarc to provide interactive print-to-mobile experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Beaverton, Ore. — Digimarc Corp. announced that Costco Wholesale Corp. is using the Digimarc Discover Intuitive Computing Platform (ICP) to embed transparent digital watermarks in editorial and advertising content connected with The Costco Connection starting with the April issue.

Using the Digimarc Discover application on their smartphone or tablets, the magazine’s more than 8.6 million readers are able to scan more than 50 unique digital watermarks included in articles and ads to view product information, videos and store information, make purchases, and more on their mobile devices.

"Many of our members are already browsing The Costco Connection with their mobile phones and tablets sitting nearby," said David Fuller, assistant VP, publishing and editor of The Costco Connection. "With Digimarc’s solution, our readers can seamlessly move between our print magazine and our online content without ever having to open a browser and search. This instant connection to more information means our members will be able to more deeply engage with our content much more quickly."

Costco introduced readers to the interactive Costco Connection in the April issue with a quick tutorial in the table of contents. Upon downloading the free Digimarc Discover app, Costco members are able to scan and view additional content on everything from home goods and automotive products to health and wellness information. Members can also connect with additional resources, including the mobile website, online edition of The Costco Connection and m-commerce.

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OfficeMax goes big with small business store

BY CSA STAFF

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — OfficeMax Inc. has unveiled a new format in downtown Milwaukee to better serve local small business customers.

The 5,000-sq.-ft. OfficeMax Business Solutions Center OfficeMax Business Solutions Center is located in The Shops of Grand Avenue. The new format replaces the previous OfficeMax store.

"With the launch of our new store, we are pleased to introduce a relationship-based retail service center focused on partnering with businesses to help them grow," said Ravi Saligram, president and CEO, OfficeMax.

Some of the services offered at the new concept include web hosting, customized web sites and cloud storage, as well as computer network setup, software installation and repair. OfficeMax offers business meeting space in the store and free Wi-Fi that allows customers to plug in and work. Employees even can help customers set up their websites.

The store also provides business card and sign printing, furniture and space planning, packaging and FedEx shipping, and document shredding. Products for sale include convertible laptops, smartphones, printers and shredders.

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Ice cream vendor gets tasty deal with Walmart

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA — Walmart is adding Mini Melts ice cream automated kiosks to its stores.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Walmart customers throughout the United States, by not only providing a premium ice cream product, but by doing so consistently with Walmart’s low-price philosophy," said Dan Kilcoyne, president of Mini Melts USA.

Mini Melts ice cream is a brand of "beaded" ice cream sold at such places as theme parks and shopping centers. The ice cream is manufactured with a patented flash freeze process using liquid nitrogen.

The automated kiosks will be manufactured exclusively by Fastcorp, a Danbry, Conn.-based company. "Our automated kiosks provide superior merchandising and they are the most energy efficient and reliable kiosks on the market. We are thrilled to be part of this program with two exceptional companies, Walmart and Mini Melts," said Todd Piatnik, president of Fastcorp.

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