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Eye on Retail: Staples goes to work

Staples launches in-store co-working format, complete with stocked kitchen.

BY Marianne Wilson

Staples is offering its own take on the coworking trend.

The retailer unveiled a coworking concept, called Staples Studio, with the first locations opening in three Staples stores in Massachusetts (Brighton, Danvers and Norwood) and additional Boston-area sites coming soon. Designed for small businesses, entrepreneurs and commuters, the new format was created to foster an environment where “businesses can focus on creating, collaborating and connecting in shared workspaces and private or shared offices,” Staples said.

Along with access to a collaborative workspace with private or shared offices, community kitchens stocked with beverages and snacks and meeting rooms, Staples Studio membership benefits include access to a podcasting studio, unlimited black and white printing, 500 color printed business cards and TSP pre-application program enrollment. Members also have access to any Staples Studio location at no extra charge. There are two levels of membership fees: $199 per month, per member for a shared workspace and $499 per month, per member for private or shared offices.

“Staples has evolved alongside our customer from a place intended for simply purchasing supplies to an environment designed to help small businesses flourish through community and solutions,” said Mike Motz, CEO, Staples US Retail. “Many of our customers are small business owners, side-gig enthusiasts or have jobs that keep them mobile. We have thoughtfully designed Staples Studio to be an ecosystem of resources for businesses in a connected environment that will allow our coworking members to focus on what they do best.”

Staples rival Office Depot is expanding its coworking pilot as it continues to emphasize its business services offerings. In April, the company opened a Workonomy Hub coworking space at its stores in Lake Zurich, Illinois, and Irving, Texas. Office Depot debuted the concept last August, at its store in Los Gatos, California.

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