OPERATIONS

OfficeMax seeks incentives to keep HK in Illinois

BY Staff Writer

New York — OfficeMax has asked the state of Illinois for tax breaks to keep the company’s headquarters in-state after its mergerwith Office Depot Inc. is complete, the Associated Press reported.

The CEO of OfficeMax, Ravi Saligram, and state Sen. Tom Cullerton made their pitch Tuesday during a hearing on the state’s pension crisis, the report said.

OfficeMax and Office Depot, which announced plans to merge in February, are still trying to decide where to locate their combined headquarters.

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FINANCE

Rite Aid to buy back $810 million in debt

BY Staff Writer

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid is offering to buy back $810 million worth of debt while increasing the amount of a new bond sale announced Tuesday, the retail pharmacy chain said.

Rite Aid said it would buy back all of its $810 million worth of 9.5% senior notes due 2017. The company also said it would increase the $400 million offering of 6.75% senior notes due 2021 by another $410 million, for a total of $810 million, as part of a debt-refinancing plan.

Rite Aid said that proceeds from the Tuesday offering would go toward the debt buyback. The company currently has about $6 billion in debt, according to its 2013 annual report.

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News

Specialty apparel retailer launches social media model search

BY Staff Writer

Denver — Multichannel specialty apparel Pampered Passions Fine Lingerie is turning to Facebook to find its next new models. Pampered Passions is launching a contest where women can post photos of themselves on its Facebook page. Every month, the customer with the photo receiving the most likes will receive a dedicated page with their pictures on the Pampered Passions e-commerce site and also get a one-year free membership in the retailer’s “Lingerie of the Month” club.

“"For over a decade customers have been purchasing fine lingerie from us, it’s time to give back and feature our lovely customers’ photos on our website, and support the ladies feeling beautiful, whatever their body type,” said John Vargo, COO of Pampered Passions. “We’ll let family, friends and fans determine their favorite photo."

Pampered Passions is intelligently using social media to create a personal bond with its customers and also drive traffic to its Facebook page and e-commerce site. While the nature of this contest will require careful monitoring of photo content as well as potentially inappropriate Facebook comments, the upside makes the extra policing effort more than worth it.

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