Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) is revamping the Staples EasyTech program as it seeks to shift more of sales online and provide shoppers and small businesses with more technology services.
The new program has been redesigned to offer tech support for both new and old PCs, under one- and two- year plans that include virus removal, in-store diagnostics and in-store software installation. Shoppers can take advantage of the services in-store or by going online to schedule an appointment with a Staples tech expert who will make a visit to their home or office.
Staples is also offering a trade-in option that lets shoppers trade in their old devices in exchange for a store credit on a Staples eCash Card which can be used to purchase anything in the store or online. Outdated devices will be recycled through the company's e-waste conservation program.
Staples has been adding several new services and merchandising initiatives as it seeks to create new product categories. It's a move to stay abreast of changing shopper habits as traditional office supplies are abandoned by a digitally-driven workforce. In March, Staples expanded its product offerings to include roughly 1,600 items across eight new categories, and in April, the company launched a test that offers 3D printing services in New York and Los Angeles.
Over the past year, Staples has also increased the number of products offered on the Web site fivefold, to 500,000 from 100,000. The company plans to triple that to 1.5 million within nine months.
These upgrades and new additions at Staples come on the heels of a bleak earnings report for the most recent quarter in which the company announced that it would be shutting down 225 stores in order to dramatically cut costs. Staples reported $5.87 billion in fourth quarter sales, missing analysts' expectations of $5.97 billion and reflecting a 10.6 percent drop year-over-year. Profits also fell 28 percent during this time to $388 million.
-See this Staples press release
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