Staples Reorganizes Business Segments, Including Promotional Products, Under Pro Categories

As part of a strategic plan first introduced last year, Staples is pursuing a renewed emphasis on addressing the needs of small and mid-sized businesses and enterprise customers, and has recently launched a branding campaign to support it. The Framingham, Massachusetts-company participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945) and the promotional products market has been folded into what the company now refers to as “Pro Categories.”

The branding campaign, built around the tagline “Staples – It’s Pro Time,” is the fourth brand campaign in the company’s history and the first to reach beyond retail customers. Frank P. Bifulco Jr., Staples’ chief marketing officer, says, “At its core, ‘Staples – It’s Pro Time’ is a celebration of work ethic, of people being professional in their everyday work lives. Throughout the campaign, we believe our customers will see themselves—office managers, small-business owners, janitors, consumers, facilities managers, purchasing managers, IT experts and assistants. The campaign is a reminder that with the right supply-set, skill-set and mindset, people can achieve anything.”

In a recent news release, Shira Goodman, Staples’ CEO, explained the company’s actions: “Based on our success growing categories beyond office supplies, we’re intensifying our focus on several key growth categories including facilities supplies, breakroom supplies, furniture, technology solutions, and promotional products. We’re pursuing this opportunity from a position of strength as we bring together the products, services, and expertise to provide a differentiated offering to business customers of all sizes.”

The introduction of Pro Categories aligns the company’s offerings in technology, facilities, furniture, print and marketing services with the “It’s Pro Time” branding. In an earnings conference call following Staples’ announcement of its first-quarter results last week, Goodman noted that the emphasis on Pro Categories will include hiring sales and product specialists, adding new products to its catalogs and developing the online experience for the business customers.

filed under industry-news | may-2017
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Comments (4)
Tom Elliott Your Choice Or Mine PPAI 173979
May 25, 2017

Staples is a primary competitor for independent PPAI distributors nationwide.
Why do they qualify as distributors, being a corporate entity with unlimited financial backing for Promotional Products sales. That seems to be a question of concerned with many members of the PPAI-affiliated Regional Associations.

Debbie Arnold (Tactics Promotional Products)
May 25, 2017

Is there room for Staples AND for independent distributors? Not sure.

Donna Schulze
May 30, 2017

So agree with Tom. My customers can find the same things we offer in promo items at less than my cost. Go figure.

Barb
May 26, 2017

I agree with Tom. Its getting more difficult to compete at every turn.

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