Staples Canada has launched two new unique initiatives as it prepares for a busy — and what could be a longer — back-to-school shopping season this year.
STAPLES LAUNCHES CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP SERVICE IN RETROFITTED STORAGE CONTAINER
The company has launched a new retail pilot pop-up shop at its CF Sherway Gardens location in Toronto as part of its popular Contactless Curbside Pickup Service. It includes a giant retrofitted storage container to keep in-store shopping and curbside pickup completely separate, adding an additional degree of safety to shopping for families.
It has also partnered with drug store chain Rexall to provide over 200 stationery products in 300 Rexall locations across Canada. The new concept creates a dedicated area within Rexall stores for in-demand Staples products, such as back to school and home office essentials.
“As a company we rolled out in late March across Canada to every store curbside pickup. So we always had buy online pick up in store but as the pandemic became an issue we’ve made that a core part of our operations and customers love it,” said David Boone, CEO of Staples. “Our store in Sherway Gardens is taking it a step further. We actually built a customized shipping container that’s going to handle all back to school curbside pickups.
“And the reason why we’re trying it here is this is one of our busiest back to school stores in the country. We’re just giving parents and students another easier way to get their supplies from Staples Canada.”
Boone said the company foresees other select locations throughout Canada rolling out different versions of curbside.
“We are working hard to serve families in any way they want to shop where they can feel safe. So we have protocols in all of our stores and we’ve created a safe environment for those that don’t want to come into the store. We have curbside and of course we have a next-day delivery program across Canada as well. We’re positioning to serve Canadians how they want to shop and how they’re comfortable shopping,” he said.
Boone said the shipping container idea will last until the end of the back to school shopping season and the company will likely bring out the idea during other busy seasons like the holidays.
He said the company is experiencing the trend where more and more parents and students are choosing to shop digitally. The retailer’s complete assortment is online. It’s built a back to school headquarters online and next-day shipping is available for back to school shopping across Canada.
“I think what you’re going to see is a back to school season for almost all retailers that is spread out. School boards are staggering their starts. There is some hybrid learning that is starting at different dates. We’re seeing and we expect back to school to be further spread out this year as students start later,” said Boone.
“We definitely believe it’s going to be a longer back to school season.”
STAPLES AND REXALL PARTNERSHIP PLANS TO BRING STORE-WITHIN-STORE EXPERIENCE TO CUSTOMERS
John DeFranco, Chief Commercial Officer for Staples Canada, said Rexall approached Staples just under a year ago wanting to talk about opportunities where Staples could bring a store within a store concept to Rexall.
“The more we spoke with them, the more excited we got about the opportunity,” he said. “They carry some office supplies and back to school supplies in their stores now but they felt Staples could bring additional expertise into the category and introduce them to some brands that they didn’t have before.
“So we started working with them to build out about a 12-foot section in most stores of both back to school and office supplies with both national brand products as well as some of our new own brand products and we put it together and called it Staples Express.”
Nicolas Caprio, President of Rexall, said the company is always looking for new opportunities to expand its service offering and provide patients and customers with convenient, accessible products.
“Not only are we enhancing our best-in-class offerings, we are providing customers with quality office supply products that meet their day to day needs,” he said.