Is same-day delivery a sign of better things to come for Staples?
Only a few months ago, Amazon.com was the primary shopping destination for office supplies — as it was for many products purchased primarily online. Fulfillment delays on Amazon’s part and emerging consumer trends tied to pandemic-era living, however, may have provided an opening for flagging brick-and-mortar chains like Staples. With a new same-day delivery relationship with Instacart, Staples may be able to capitalize on favorable trends forged early in the novel coronavirus pandemic.
As stores nationwide begin to reopen, Staples is beginning to offer same-day delivery through from more than 1,000 of its store locations. The Instacart partnership is meant to meet the needs of reopening small business customers, teachers and others while allowing them to continue socially distancing practices.
The move comes as concerns remain about the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by shopping in stores. At the same time, customers are experiencing an increased need to get office supplies quickly.
Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever before in the U.S. have found themselves working from home and, consequently, have an increased need for essential office supplies. With students being homeschooled and with the possibility remaining that schools will not reopen in the fall, supplies have likewise become essential for many.
Other areas of non-grocery retail have also experienced unexpected increases due to the pandemic. For instance, the need for home technology capable of facilitating working and teaching from home led to increased business at device retailers like Best Buy.
Before the pandemic, Staples was already working on a reinvention that would cater to the needs of the growing work-from-home set. Early in pre-pandemic 2020, Staples launched a new concept store called Connect meant to bring in small business owners with offerings like a podcast studio and a coworking space. Remaining big box competitor Office Depot likewise rolled out a small business-targeted concept.
- Staples US Retail Partners with Instacart to Offer New Same-Day Delivery for Safe, Convenient Shopping – Staples
- Best Buy getting back to business with scheduled appointments – RetailWire
- Will Staples’ new concept Connect with small business owners? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Staples’ partnership with Instacart make it more successful with consumers of office and school supplies? How else might Staples take advantage of new shopping habits in the flagging brick-and-mortar office supply space?