– is a large office supply chain store, with over 2,000 stores worldwide in 26 countries. Based in Framingham, Massachusetts, United States, they sell supplies, office machines, promotional products, furniture, technology and business services both in stores and online.
Founders: Leo Kahn and Tom Stemberg, 1985
Staples was co-founded by Leo Kahn and Thomas G. Stemberg, who had been former rivals in the New England retail supermarket industry. The idea was created in 1985, while founder Thomas G. Stemberg was working on a proposal for a different business. He needed a ribbon for his printer, but was unable to obtain one because his local dealer was closed for the Independence Day holiday. In 1991, the company founded its Canadian subsidiary, The Business Depot, and began opening stores under that name, though over a decade later, all stores were renamed as “Staples.”
- The company opened its first store in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1986
- The L in the logo is a stylized staple
- They also do business exclusively with enterprises in multiple European countries as Advantage.
- During its 10th anniversary in 1996, the company became one of the Fortune 500 companies as sales surpass $3 billion. They even acquired the naming rights for the Staples Center in Los Angeles during its construction in 1998
- On September 4, 1996, Staples and Office Depot announced plans to merge, which was denied by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on ground that it would create a monopoly and unfairly increase in prices
- Between 1999 and 2001, unsuccessful attempts to enter telecommunications business was made as they created Staples Communications after the purchase of Canada-based company, Claricom, from an investment group. The company was later sold to Platinum Equities and renamed NextiraOne.
- In 2007, the company opened its first store in India
- In 2008, company acquired Dutch office supplies company Corporate Express, one of the largest office supply wholesalers in the world.
- Throughout most of the company’s history, they employed, in its American commercials and advertising promotions, the slogan “Yeah, we’ve got that.”, signifying their wide selection of products. This slogan was retired in 2003, to be replaced with “That was easy.” Expanding on that theme, 2005 ads featured a large red push-button marked “easy”. In the UK, they used the slogan “You want it. We’ve got it”; they have now changed it to “That was Easy”.
- Following a television campaign featuring the ‘Easy Button’, it was turned into a real product (available in English “easy”, French “simple”, Spanish “fácil” and German “einfach easy”). These buttons were shipped to stores in the US, Canada and Germany starting in the fall of 2005.
- In March of 2011, Home Depot was found to be copying the “Easy Button” at a store in Edwardsville, IL.
- Their 2007 Back to school campaign was “Totally organized. Totally Easy.” and the 2007 Holiday campaign was “That holiday was easy.”
- During the 2008 holiday season, their advertising for the first time engaged Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms. The company created a character named “Coach Tom” to promote its “Gift it for Free” sweepstakes, in which 10,000 their customers won up to $5,000 in merchandise.
- In march 2005 Staples Inc. and Ahold announced a joint collaboration in which all Stop & Shop Supermarkets and Giant Food stores throughout the Northeast will have a branded store-within-store section
- Some stores also feature EasyTech, an in-store and on-site service for PC repair, PC upgrades, home and office networking setup, and PC tutorials
- Starting in November 2005, they began a test called “Heavy Up” primarily using stores in New York state to experiment with the expansion of the offerings by the Tech Center. A subsequent test known as “Double Up” was planned for an unspecified test market and was scheduled to begin the first half of 2006.
- Beginning in early 2006, they also launched the “Easy Resident Tech” program, employing one to two resident computer repair technicians to do in-store repair during normal business hours.