Staples (NYSE:SPLS) now features an entrepreneurial e-commerce store for the winners of its first Crowd2Shelf contest. Staples.com/fundable displays the results of the contest that drew thousands of start-ups from around the country, competing for a chance to crowdfund their way to Staples.
During the contest, contestants gathered votes and crowdfunding pledges for their innovative products. Then, a panel of experts, including Fundable and Staples representatives, chose the winners based on votes, success of crowdfunding campaigns, and the potential for success.
The debut of the online stores marks the first time a retailer has used crowdfunding to determine market demand and social support when choosing products to sell.
"We're proud to showcase our Crowd2Shelf entrepreneurs through our new online store and help them launch their ideas," said Daniel Reilly, director of product design and innovation at Staples. "We were incredibly impressed with the caliber of start-up product companies that participated and are thrilled to offer our customers these innovative new products to help them make more happen."
Winning products range from a secure tablet holder to remote-controlled, recessed LED lighting.
Staples has made a push to further expand its services for business customers. Last month the retailer relaunched its business-to-business website, Staples Advantage, to better serve mid to large-sized businesses. The new site has an online tool for managing customer accounts, content is better optimized for mobile and desktop, and browsing and checkout is faster.
The chain also introduced a business loan service to help small-business owners by giving quick and easy access to capital.
-See this Staples press release
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