The Biz of Pacelinebiz

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Peanut Butter And Jelly…And Staples

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A winning combination

A winning combination

What do these have in common you ask?  Peanut butter and jelly are great combinations and Staples, the office supplies retailer, is using a combination to save on costs.  I wrote about this strategy in 2012 and you can read my thoughts by clicking here.  If you do not want to read my blog about this, I will summarize my suggestion and summarize the article that discusses Staples idea for cost savings.  If you want to read the full article, click here.

My suggestion was to combine resources or cost share.  I focused mainly on operating space for companies that did not compete and operated at different times of the day or year.  A few items I suggested were an ice cream shop sub-letting their space in the cooler months to a soup and warm beverage shop.   I also suggested a pizza shop and bakery could share space and operate throughout the day.  The bakery would be open for breakfast and lunch and then the pizza shop would take over until they turned it back over to the bakery.

Staples is doing a very similar thing to save on the cost of having too much retail space.  They are now beginning a test in the Boston area to partner with a company that offers work space for business owners who need a temporary office or to meet with a client on an occasional basis.  I suppose this can work at least to recoup the cost of excess retail space but a more complimentary relationship would save on cost and increase sales.  They could look for a relationship that would draw more traffic to the stores from customers who would buy more Staples products.  The people who need a virtual office on an occasional basis are probably not heavy users of office supplies since they tend to be solo-preneurs who can function most of the time from a home office.

I give Staples credit for making the effort even if they are late in recognizing the need and opportunity.  I wish them luck as e-commerce and the continuing trend toward digitization is shrinking the size of the office supplies market.

Have a great week.

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