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Rexall launches online customer accounts

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mississauga, Ontario – Rexall is launching MyRexall, a new service providing its customers with the ability to view and print their personal medication records online. In addition to viewing their medication record, MyRexall will allow customers the ability to request a refill at their local Rexall, print their medication record for review with a physician or other health care professional and easily transfer prescriptions to their local Rexall pharmacy.

Customers will also have access to health information about their conditions and will be provided special offers through their account.

"MyRexall reinforces our commitment to making it easy for Canadians to feel good about their health," said Frank Scorpiniti, CEO, Rexall Pharma Plus. "MyRexall offers Canadians a simple way to manage and view their medication records online."

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Amazon’s Bezos buys Washington Post

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is purchasing The Washington Post from media holdings firm The Washington Post. Co. for $250 million in cash. He is making the purchase privately and Amazon.com is not involved in the transaction. Bezos will reportedly take the currently public Washington Post private.

An article about the purchase in The Washington Post quoted Bezos as saying he was entering uncharted terrain that will require experimentation, but does not plan to change the paper’s core values or dedication to its readers.

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OfficeMax has down Q2; predicts tough road ahead

BY Dan Berthiaume

Naperville, Ill. – OfficeMax had a dismal second quarter of 2013, swinging to a big quarterly loss and experiencing declining total and same-store sales.

The office supply retailer reported a loss of $10 million, compared with a profit of $10.7 million in the year-ago period. Total sales dropped 4.3% to $1.53 billion, compared to $1.6 billion in the second quarter of the prior year. Same-store sales declined 3.6%. OfficeMax said the same-store sales dropped primarily due to decreased traffic and lower technology product category sales.

Based on the current environment, OfficeMax anticipates that total company sales for the third quarter and full fiscal year 2013 will be lower than the third quarter and full fiscal year 2012, including the projected unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation.

In two bright spots, OfficeMax.com reported double-digit year-over-year sales growth and the retailer said its upcoming merger with Office Depot is proceeding as planned. Ravi Saligram, president and CEO of OfficeMax, tried to stike a positive tone in his public comments.

"Sales declined in the second quarter, which impacted profitability compared to the prior year period,” said Saligram. “We continue to implement cost reduction measures to align our expenses with our revenue base and expect second-half profit performance to improve versus the first half. Further, we’re pleased to have received additional cash proceeds from our Boise investment in July, bolstering our strong balance sheet. In spite of secular challenges and an uneven economic recovery, we remain committed to restoring sales growth by evolving our business model to focus more on services, innovating new products and categories, growing our adjacencies, and building our omni-channel capabilities.”

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