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Staples unveils new 'omnichannel' format

Norwoood, Mass., and Dover, Del., are home to two next generation Staples stores reflective of the company’s latest thinking when it comes to serving shoppers in a digital world.

The stores feature several new Staples.com kiosks with large screens to provide customers with access to an expanded assortment consistent with the company’s goal of providing "every" product a businesses need to succeed. Through the kiosks, customers can select from more than 100,000 items, including the latest tech products, furniture, school supplies, and cleaning and breakroom items that are available for free next day delivery to roughly 98% of North America. The omnichannel stores also feature consultation areas for small business customers who need help from Staples EasyTech and Copy and Print employees.

"We listened to our customers and provided the products, services and features they need to succeed," said Demos Parneros, president of Staples North America Stores and Online. "Our stores make efficient use of space while offering more products and services than ever through our mobile and online features. We also know that shopping is an occasion and we've created a fun experience for our customers. We're very proud of our omnichannel stores and this is just the beginning as we'll continue to evolve our network."

Staples is the world’s largest office products retailer with annual revenues of $24.4 billion and 1,547 stores in the U.S. and 339 stores in Canada. It’s two newest stores will allow products and capabilities to be tested and launched to the broader retail network. For example, other features of the new store include:

  • A business lounge combining digital interactions with the store experience. The business lounge includes meeting space and work stations for mobile professionals and lets customers research and order from Staples' expanded selection of products.
  • The ability to reserve online and pick up in store, extending the convenience of Staples' retail network to online shoppers.
  • New Staples EasyTech and Copy & Print spaces, displaying the latest service offerings and featuring consultation areas that allow Staples' associates to better assist small business customers.
  • Staples.com and omnichannel touch screen stations, which provide an endless aisle experience with Staples' expanded assortment online..
  • An ink and toner finder, which lets customers easily track past purchases and find the right ink and toner. If their exact ink isn't available in-store, a Staples associate can help them order it online and ship it to them for free.

The store openings follow several recent e-commerce related personnel developments. Earlier this month, Staples added former Walmart.com president and CEO Raul Vasquez to its board of directors. Last month, the company named Faisal Masud to the newly created role of vp of global e-commerce, reporting to Parneros. In that role, Masud is responsible for building Staples’ digital channels and leading e-commerce efforts across a company that is investing heavily in digital commerce. Masud spend nine years with Amazon and but more recently was with Groupon and eBay.

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