Thursday, June 10, 2010

“Nah, we don’t got that.”

June 10, 2010

For several years Staples used the tagline: “Yeah, we got that,” and they actually did. When I needed paper and ink and blank CDs, I could pretty much pop into any store around town and pick up what I needed. But, recently I noticed that more often or not, the item I was looking for was out-of-stock. My first thought was that they were simply seeking to move traffic to their website, so I looked for the items there. No luck.

Now comes word from the CEO that they are transforming their business, selling more private label products, and focusing on services, where inventory needs are low and margins are better. (Mahoney, 2010).

Great. So where do I go now to get staples when I need them?

But perhaps more importantly, does it make sense to jettison a brand positioning that led to so much success?

Mahoney, S. (2010, June 2). Staples Focuses On Growing Tech, Services. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from


  1. I think they are making a very known mistake: forgeting their mission. This new position goes against Staple's mission: ... We're committed to making it easy for our customers around the globe to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services...".
    They should do a gradual process and only remove a product after introduce a similar as private label. If this lack of product continue, perhaps it's a very good opportunity for a competitor offensive in this segment.

  2. I'm sure the new brand positioning may reap dividends in the future, but in the meantime, what about all the loyal drop-in customers?

    I suppose they could always go to a mom & pop stationary store to pick up their items.
    Wait, what's that you say? They've all been driven out of business (along with the corner coffee shop, copy shop, and local pharmacy)?

    Oh well.


  3. I think that this makes a lot of sense. Staples is committing to the future and forcing its costumers to fall in line. With the rapid advancements in technology, curtain typical office supplies are becoming obsolete. We are reaching a paperless society or a less paper society. Yes, if you find yourself in the need for a staple, then they will make their way into the 99 cent store world, next to the coasters and coosies. If your still in desperate need of staples, then your behind with the times. Catch up! I find the same thing happening when I go into a BESTBUY. They are now suddenly "out of stock" on certain items and concentrate on their repair and GEEK SQUAD stations.