Topics: Staples Inc., Customer service, Brand Pages: 23 (6333 words) Published: June 24, 2013

Marketing Report

Section 01

March 24th, 2008.

Kristen Watkin 3800042
Caroline Hoang 3850070
Kevin Jones 4175907
Andrew Welland 3793049
David Shih 3558673

Company Background

STAPLES is the world’s largest office supply retailer, with stores located in the United States, Canada, and Europe. STAPLES was created in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts by Thomas G. Stemberg, and things have only been looking up ever since. Stemberg wanted to make it easier for customers to have access to office supplies. He focused on small, medium, and large businesses, as well as the individual. By broadening his focus, he was able to attract more customers, and continues to appeal to new customers. To this day, STAPLES maintains its strong focus on quality products and services, with quality prices.

Industry Analysis

STAPLES is in the industry of office supplies and stationary. It is a retail store that not only offers office supplies, but furniture, technology, and other services as well to businesses and individuals.

STAPLES was the first of its kind to create an office supply retail store. However, within two years of creation, they had over twenty competitors in the U.S. alone. But STAPLES remained unique. Other office supply stores mimicked well-know discount retailers – Office Depot’s name was a direct copy of Home Depot. Stemberg commented on the issue of other competitors saying, “[The STAPLES name] is distinctive because everybody else is Office Something. But we are STAPLES” (Stemberg 68). Some of STAPLES’ main competitors included Office Depot (their largest competitor), OfficeMax, Office Club, BizMart, WORKplace, HQ Office Supplies Warehouse, Office World, and Office Place.

STAPLES continues to differentiate themselves, especially through their locations. STAPLES started in the East Coast, where it was a little more expensive to start up and advertise, whereas all other competitors (including Office Depot), were created and operated in the West Coast. STAPLES also focuses on putting stores in small towns, where there is little competition.

In 1991, STAPLES moved into Canada with the help of Jack Bingleman. Initially, the store was called Business Depot, with STAPLES owning 16% of the business. However, Office Depot soon moved into Canada as well, and disputes began against the name of the business. Office Depot challenged Business Depot to the use of the name, since they were so similar. In the end, Business Depot was granted an injunction against Office Depot. At this point, STAPLES decided to fully purchase Business Depot, and all the Canadian stores were renamed “STAPLES, Business Depot”. By adding STAPLES to their name, Canadian customers became more aware of the well-known company, and thus they continued their road to success in North America.

Currently, STAPLES perseveres with their head-to-head battle with Office Depot, as well as other smaller competitors. STAPLES is attempting to further develop into international countries, but with that decision comes the challenges of new competition and foreign places with different cultures. STAPLES must carefully plan out their global marketing strategies before diving deeper into the international market.


Its innovative concept of the “Office Superstore” has made STAPLES a household name. STAPLES Inc. prides itself on being a convenient, one-stop shop for one’s entire business and individual office product needs. With over 20 years in the industry, they have proven themselves by providing good quality products at low prices. Their positive reputation has brought value to the STAPLES name.

Convenience is the main reason why customers value STAPLES. Surveys have shown that 81.8% of shoppers go to STAPLES first for all their business supply needs (Sills). The extra time a customer may take to travel to...

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Retail Customer Experience
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