Staples is upping its product sourcing game.
The Framingham, Massachusetts-based retailer is working with RangeMe, an online platform that streamlines new product discovery between product suppliers and retailers. More specifically, RangeMe said that it's partnering with Staples Connect on a new product sourcing initiative named The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project.
“The goal of The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project is to develop a strong set of new, unique and innovative Working and Learning products and services to offer our customers who are experiencing a shift in the way they work and learn,” said Brian Coupland, SVP retail merchandising, Staples U.S. Retail. “With a strategy rooted in community and connection, The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project is just another step in helping local businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs succeed through a lasting partnership. We’re thrilled to kick off the first inaugural event and look forward to continuing in the future.”
The move comes amid other recent efforts to expand product sourcing. Earlier this year, for instance, Mooresville, North Carolina-based Lowe’s teamed up with RangeMe and a star of the TV show “Shark Tank” to help small businesses — especially those with minority owners — win a chance to get their products into the chain’s stores and onto its e-commerce site.
The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project focuses on accelerating the path to market for small businesses with innovative working and learning products and services by providing an opportunity for brands to compete for shelf space and visibility at Staples Connect.
“Work, life, and learning have all blended into the same space over the past year, and RangeMe is ready to help Staples Connect meet the needs of their customers to tackle each of these areas,” said Wayne Bennett, SVP of retail for San Francisco-based RangeMe, an ECRM company. “We are excited to partner on such an innovative initiative like The Staples Connect Breakthrough Project.”
By leveraging the RangeMe platform, Staples Connect buyers will have access to more than 200,000 suppliers, which will help facilitate the project, and aid in curating new and existing small-business vendors in bringing forward fresh and innovative products in 12 product categories, including home office/smart office, desk accessories, homeschooling and ergonomics.
From now until Dec. 9, brands are encouraged to submit their products and services for evaluation. Participants and products will be considered based on their alignment to the Staples Connect product merchandising strategies and market opportunities to fulfill the Staples Connect customer’s needs of working and learning remotely. Those selected by Staples Connect will be invited to virtual face-to-face meetings with Staples Connect buyers on Feb. 8, 2021. Staples Connect will then choose winning products and services to be carried in select Staples Connect stores across the country.