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Staples and HOW2HQ.com Reinvent the Rebate

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced a strategic partnership with digital marketplace HOW2HQ.com, an Internet subsidiary of Citadel Technology, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CITN), to handle rebate processing for Staples. This is the first time a national retailer has transitioned its rebate process onto the Internet.

HOW2HQ.com will become the voice of customers, many of whom have long been frustrated with the rebate process. By streamlining this process and moving it online, both customers and manufacturers will be able to find, file and track their rebates with minimal hassle. The standard 10 to 12 week period that customers usually wait for their manufacturers' rebate checks is expected to be reduced by up to 50 percent. In fact, HOW2HQ.com has filed a provisionary patent application on its online rebate processing technology.

"HOW2HQ.com has solved one of the fastest growing dilemmas in the retail and manufacturing industry," said Jim Sherlock, director, sales/promotion, Staples. "Staples is committed to outstanding customer service and this partnership will immediately bring our customers' experience to a new level."

Staples is working exclusively with HOW2HQ.com to process most of Staples' rebate offers. HOW2HQ.com will work with both manufacturers and customers to ensure a seamless, faster rebate process.

"Staples and HOW2HQ.com have 'reinvented' the rebate," said Steve Solomon, HOW2HQ.com's Chairman and CEO. "Many customers think of getting a rebate check as a very slow-moving chore. The Internet has made everything move more quickly -- and now, HOW2HQ.com has taken its speed and agility and applied it to the rebate process."

"By processing rebates online, manufacturers will benefit from less paperwork and customers will benefit from better customer service and a quicker turnaround time," Solomon continued.

Customers can visually track the process of their rebates simply by logging onto http://www.HOW2HQ.com or soon through http://www.staples.com. On "Rebates HQ," they can search for a rebate either before or after purchase. After filing their rebate, customers can check back as often as they choose to monitor the status of their rebate -- when it was sent to processing and when the rebate check was mailed. On the manufacturers' side, HOW2HQ.com can track the number and location of rebates submitted and monitor the time it has taken to fulfill them.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to customers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United Sates, Canada, The United Kingdom and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 46,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,000 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

About HOW2HQ.com

HOW2HQ.com, a Citadel subsidiary, was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Dallas with offices in Seattle, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. It has approximately 200 employees. A new digital "headquarters for living" for Internet users, the Company's mission is to enhance lifestyles, improve knowledge and help people shop and save money in an entertaining and helpful way. Simultaneously, HOW2HQ.com will provide an outlet for manufacturers, retailers, service organizations and content providers to extend their brand and provide post-sale customer care.

SOURCE Staples Inc.