Staples launches online catalog covering 8,000 products for contract customers
Staples’ 2008 Contract online catalog combines the ease and familiarity of the traditional paper catalog with the interactivity and speed of an online shopping trip.
The online catalog enables browsing of office supplies, furniture and technology accessories as well as cleaning, breakroom and promotional items—a total of 8,000 products. Keyword and item-number search and lookup capabilities are part of the online system.
It’s all about being accessible, said Marci Grebstein, vice president of marketing for Staples’ Contract Division.
“If an organization only gets one or two copies of the paper catalog in an office, they may disappear, or folks don’t want to give them out,” Grebstein told GovPro.com. “But now, online, people can see the merchandise when and where they want to—it’s a major convenience.”
With this online setup, Staples Contract customers can give all employees access to their own 2008 catalog whenever they need it, Grebstein added.
Safeguards in place
The 2008 online catalog features several safeguards against maverick purchasing, Grebstein noted.
“On our StaplesLink.com site, there are different approval systems that are built in, depending on the requirements of that customer. So managers do have the ability to see and approve the end user’s purchases and requests for purchase,” Grebstein said. “On our 2008 online catalog, what we offer users is the ability to produce office supply ‘wish lists,’ and e-mail them to that approval person, who can then go through that same process of approving or denying that purchase or suggesting alternatives. So it still has that kind of check-in process so that users don’t go outside what they are supposed to be buying.”
A boost to the environment
With its online offering, Staples estimates an immediate 10 percent reduction in its annual catalog print run, which should mean about 200,000 fewer print catalogs. According to the company, that will save approximately 4,000 trees, 5 million gallons of water and enough energy to power 120 homes for a year.
“Our customers are increasingly looking for us to provide them with more environmentally friendly solutions,” Grebstein told GovPro.com. “The online catalog provides yet another tool to help them reduce the environmental impacts of their office products purchases.”
Recycled content is becoming a more important part of the government marketplace, said Dave MacLean, vice president of federal government business for Staples National Advantage.
“There’s a huge demand within the government space to make sure that you have at least 30 percent recycled content for your paper-based products,” MacLean told GovPro.com. “Right now, the category of paper-based recycling is just exploding within the federal government.”
To view the 2008 Staples Contract online catalog, click here.