Staples' secret weapon this Back-to-School season looks to be Katy Perry. The retailer recently aligned itself with the pop mega-star who has the potential to influence the shopping behaviors of 50 million Twitter followers and 71 million Facebook fans.
Staples plans to open a development center in downtown Seattle, near the Pioneer Square/International District — its second in the West Coast — staffed with e-commerce and engineering teams, which will be responsible for enhancing search, SEO and personalization.
Two of Staples' senior most executives were given new responsibilities to bolster the company’s re-invention efforts and competitive posture in a market that has become more challenging with the addition of a newly merged Office Depot and OfficeMax.
The retail and consumer packaged goods industry fared poorly in a recent global ranking of corporate sustainability leaders with the handful of standouts being Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Staples and Campbell Soup Company.
Staples has named Tom Conophy as EVP, chief information officer, overseeing all aspects of Staples’ global IT organization. He will report directly to Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO, and will serve on the Staples executive committee.
Staples is opening a dedicated e-commerce and engineering center in Seattle that will house teams responsible for driving major initiatives to enhance areas, including next generation digital platforms, personalization, and big-data. It will be the chain’s first office on the West Coast.
Staples is taking a page from retailers like Macy’s and turning to social media as it gears up for the back-to-school shopping season as it encourages students to follow Staples on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #StaplesHasIt.
To counteract weak demand for conventional office products, Staples is peddling some decidedly non-traditional office products as part of an expanded assortment billed as, "summer celebration essentials."
Staples has become the first major U.S. retailer to have 3D printers available for purchase. The Cube 3D Printer from 3D Systems, a leading global provider of 3D content-to-print solutions, is already available on Staples.com for $1,299.99.