New Focus On Small Businesses At Staples Means Co-Working Spaces, K-Cups

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

What is Staples? The company’s leaders probably wouldn’t be pleased to hear you say, “The place where I go for printer cartridges when I can’t wait for an online order,” but plans to change consumer perceptions by offering things small and medium businesses need, from office space to coffee pods.

“If you go to most people on the street and ask about Staples they’d go, ‘Oh yeah, the office-products superstore,'” CEO Shira Goodman told Bloomberg News in an interview. “But the reality is that’s very far from where we are today, and even farther from where we want to be.”

Where is Staples heading? It wants to be a resource for businesses with fewer than 200 employees, delivering some items while still keeping stores open where they can run in and pick up others. Executives imagine a fictional office manager named “Jackie” and what products and services might make her life easier.

Staples is also targeting tiny startups that don’t yet have their own offices. Its partnership with co-working startup Workbar doesn’t just bring in money and make use of some of that cavernous big-box space, but it also brings the people starting new businesses, and who fit a profile with two magic words in it: millennial entrepreneurs.