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Staples Acquires Runa, Boosts E-Presence

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The world’s largest office products company, Staples, Inc. (SPLS), recently completed the acquisition of California-based software company Runa, which it believes will augment its online presence. The terms of the deal were not revealed.  

Staples is the largest online retailer after Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). The company is constantly seeking to enhance its e-Commerce capacities and give its customers a personalized shopping experience in order to drive online sales.

Staples bought Runa to provide more customized shopping experience. The company’s operating system updates customers about latest and personalized  offers, expected delivery time, and free consignment delivery offer.

Staples will utilize the Runa facility in San Mateo as its newest lab for e-Commerce expansion. Earlier in August, the company announced its plans to unveil a new e-Commerce Development Center in Seattle, WA. This will mark the company’s first office on the West Coast. Staples is dedicating this Development Center to enhance e-Commerce and engineering, which will consequently boost specific areas like next generation digital platforms, personalization and big-data.

The above-mentioned acquisition will help Staples get the best of talented engineering and e-Commerce professionals. The company is looking forward to form large and collaborative teams to make the shopping experience a convenient one.

As part of this goal, Staples launched its first omni-channel store in June this year. Through this omni-channel strategy, Staples hopes to fuse its retail network with enhanced digital capabilities. The company stated that its Norwood, MA and Dover, DE stores will incorporate its .com and mobile assets. Alongside, the stores will feature Staples.com kiosks.  

This new era store concept could be a game changer for Staples in the long run. Providing customers the option of shopping on their own terms and enriching their in-store shopping experience might be an important differentiating factor for the company.

The Runa acquisition is expected to benefit both Staples as well as its consumers. Customers would gain from an enhanced shopping experience whereas for the company, it would lead to top-line growth.

Other retail chains, who have incorporated omni-channel strategy include department store operator Macy's, Inc. (M) and specialty retailer Nordstrom Inc. (JWN).

Currently, Staples carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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