Staples is thinking outside the office with a reimagined store format that spotlights coworking, podcasting and community event spaces.
The new concept, called Staples Connect, makes its official debut on Feb. 5, in six redesigned stores in the Boston area (Boston, Cambridge, Needham, Brighton, Danvers, and Somerville). More than a place to make a transaction, the format offers customer-focused solutions and experiences, with hands-on learning opportunities for professionals, teachers, and students.
Among the offerings are a 500-sq.-ft. community space where customers can connect and learn by hosting or attending events, such as speaker sessions, workshops, seminars, meetings and more. In partnership with iHeartRadio, the store also includes a dedicated podcast studio where customers can schedule a recording session. The space features a soundproof room with professional equipment for up to four people, with a dedicated in-house specialist available to assist.
The new format is also home to Staples’ co-working concept, Staples Studio, which the company has been rolling out in select locations in its home state of Massachusetts, along with three locations in Canada.
The merchandise layout is designed around solutions for home offices, small businesses, and classrooms. The update includes nearly 1,000 new products and 40 new brands such as Apple, Sonos, and Bose.
In addition, every Staples Connect store offers tech services, print & marketing services, TSA pre-check enrollment and professional services, —including marketing, legal and tax and finance — offered by selected partners.
“We recognize that the way people shop is changing, and with the launch of Staples Connect we are adapting to fit the needs of our customers,” said Mike Motz, CEO, Staples US Retail. “Our customers are teachers, students of all ages, small business owners and side hustlers. Research shows that much of what they are seeking is real human interaction with members of their community and industry, which is key to productivity and growth. At Staples Connect, we do more than just supply your success through product offerings, we wholeheartedly support it.”
In addition to the six dedicated locations, certain elements of Staples Connect can be found in stores throughout Massachusetts.