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    RMX Prepares to Shut Down

    Online company bids Halloween farewell in spite of one-time significant backing.

    CONCORD, Calif. -- It's no trick or treat gag.

    RMX, the Internet-based supply-chain solutions that boasted such formidable backers as Chevron Inc., McLane Co. Inc., Philip Morris Cos. Inc. and Oracle, is shutting down all operations tomorrow.

    On its Web site, the company offers a pithy farewell. "The RMX Team has decided to discontinue software and services on October 31, 2002. We appreciate your customer commitment of the past 2 years."

    The latest to join the cluster of failed online services, RMX was unable to captivate a skeptical convenience store industry that has been slow to embrace the Internet. In short, the West Coast company sought to build a full-service marketplace where retailers and suppliers could communicate and conduct business via the Web.

    Unlike other online outfits, RMX enjoyed a wealth of financial backing from well-established players in both the supply and retail communities. The company boasted that its offering would saving merchants tens of thousands of dollars in operational and back-office costs. However, with the exception of Marathon Ashland Petroleum, RMX failed to enlist new players.

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