Staples seeks suppliers for community concept store

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Looking to build out private brand and pertinent products for its new community-focused format store Staples Connect, the office retailer is holding a sourcing event where suppliers can meet with Staples executives in virtual, face-to-face meetings.

The Framingham, Mass.-based retailer is working with the ECRM and the RangeMe platform to power its “Staples Connect Breakthrough Project,” aimed at accelerating the path to market for small businesses to get on shelves of the Staples Connect concept but also inside standard Staples stores. Companies can submit products to be considered for the pitch session at this link by Dec. 9. Finalists will present Feb. 8, 2021.

The project includes looking for ways to bolster its new store brand items that emerged last April including:

  • TRU RED — business essentials like pens, notebooks, shredders, organizational accessories and more;
  • NXT Technologies — technology solutions that keep teams connected and productive;
  • Coastwide Professional — professional-grade facility supplies;
  • Union & Scale — furniture and décor collections; and
  • Perk — quality breakroom essentials.

The goal of The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project is to develop a strong set of new, unique and innovative working and learning products and services to offer our customers who are experiencing a shift in the way they work and learn,” said Brian Coupland, SVP of retail merchandising, Staples US Retail. “With a strategy rooted in community and connection, The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project is just another step in helping local businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs succeed through a lasting partnership. We’re thrilled to kick off the first inaugural event and look forward to continuing in the future."

The Staples Connect stores include an assortment of merchandise, with nearly 1,000 new products and 40 new brands, and the stores feature branded, exclusive spaces that include a coworking office, podcast studio and meeting room.

Staples is promoting the program via social and the tag #TheBreakthroughProject and invites companies to share as well.