Staples puts stores to work with new test - USA
ChainStoreAge.com - Apr 5th 2016, 10:18
Staples is looking to connect with a key customer segment and improve the productivity of its selling space with a new pilot program involving shared workspace provider Workbar.
Staples and Boston-based Workbar reached an agreement that involves the remodelling of three Staples stores to include custom designed co-working facilities operated by Workbar. Staples stores in Danvers, Norwood, and Brighton – located north, south, and west of Boston – will contain Workbar spaces ranging in size from 2 500 sq. ft. to 3 500 sq. ft. The custom designed workspaces are said to be high-end facilities that will feature conference rooms, private phone rooms, fast and secure Wi-Fi, printers and coffee and tea. Workbar operates a membership-based program that allows those who pay a fee to use its network of facilities throughout the Boston area.
“Our approach to co-working is a bit different. Mobile professionals are a rising demographic everywhere, not just downtown, so we’re building a hub-and-spoke network that links urban centres and suburban locations,” said Bill Jacobson, Workbar CEO and co-founder. “With its convenient locations, parking and extended store hours, Staples is an ideal partner. It’s exciting to see how Staples has embraced Workbar’s mission. Being able to get your work done in a welcoming space, among an interesting, helpful professional community, definitely improves your quality of life.”
The arrangement may also give new life to Staples stores, which have become less productive during the past decade due to weakening demand for many of Staples traditional office product categories combined with a shift to online sales, which diminished traffic to physical stores.
According to Peter Scala, Staples executive VP merchandising, the new Workbar locations will provide a sense of community and the opportunity for users to network and collaborate with other motivated professionals. The new initiative also lines up well with Staples value proposition to help customers make more happen during their workday.
“At Staples, the Workbar space will be a great complement to our existing suite of business relevant products and services – Print and Marketing Services, Business Services including shipping, Tech Services and office supplies,” Scala said. “This provides our customers with the unique opportunity to obtain virtually everything they need to stay up and running and to make their businesses succeed right from our stores.”
At Workbar.com, the company explains that its approach is reflective of the fact that people don’t work the way they used to thanks to cross-currents of technology, mobility and the need for share resources, human interaction and fun.
“So we’ve created a network of co-working spaces where independent professionals, start-ups, small businesses, and remote employees of larger enterprises can enjoy a vibrant community and high quality office amenities at an affordable price,” according to the company. “At convenient and accessible locations around the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington (coming soon), and beyond, we provide extraordinary shared office spaces. Our members work and grow with access to meeting rooms, event spaces, and a wide variety of social meet-ups and educational workshops. In a nutshell, Workbar offers the professionalism of a corporate office, the flexibility of a gym, and the comfort of a cafe.”From ChainStoreAge.com
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