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Staples Unveils Next Gen Working and Learning Store Spanning 2 Floors [Photos/CEO Interview]

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Staples Canada has unveiled its next generation of the Working and Learning store in Calgary’s University District, near the University of Calgary.

The company said the newest concept store in Calgary’s mindfully-designed community includes the largest Staples Studio co-working location to date.

David Boone

“As one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities, and a hub of commerce and entrepreneurship, we’re excited to bring our newest concept location to the Calgary market,” said David Boone, Chief Executive Officer, Staples Canada. “We are proud to continue our ongoing expansion of Staples Studio given strong demand amongst entrepreneurs, small businesses, and remote workers and learners. We are confident our new University District store will become a space where locals can meet, collaborate and thrive.

“The store is a culmination of everything we’ve been doing for the past four or five years. Staples Studio is continuing to expand. There’s a lot of demand now with hybrid work, how work’s changed and we are seeing our Studios fill up coming out of COVID. That is unique and we’ve made this one bigger. What’s also unique is it’s a two-floor store. Co-working is on the second floor. 

Staples Canada in Calgary’s University District (Image: Jeff McIntosh)
Staples associates and the executives cut the ribbon introducing the company’s newest working and learning store to Calgary’s University District neighbourhood at 3909 University Avenue NW, June 25. Photo Credit: Staples Canada.

“Services. You will see a dramatically larger and improved service experience. Many of our customers are looking for that. We have expanded our shipping options. Shipping is a big part of what Canadian businesses are doing right now. You will see us touch almost every category with new assortments, new brands, fresh experiences. The last thing that is unique is we’re bringing together our B2B and our B2C business. So you will see representation of Staples Professional. There’s an integration of all of our programs and businesses outside of stores into the store.”

In total, the new Staples store is about 24,000 square feet with 4,000 of that for the Studio.

Rachel Huckle

The store introduces the seventh Staples Studio location and first co-working location in Alberta. It is located on the store’s second floor, featuring a collaborative, open-concept environment. Staples’ latest Spotlight Space is also located on the second floor, an auditorium-style event and community learning space which can be booked by Staples Studio members and members of the public alike. Like all Staples stores across Canada, this store features a Solutionshop location assisting locals with enhanced services including tech support, graphic design, marketing solutions, shipping, printing and much more.

“Staples has been a part of the Calgary community for 27 years,” said Rachel Huckle, Chief Retail Officer, Staples Canada. “As the Working and Learning Company, we continue to help contribute to the communities we serve by being a dynamic, inspiring partner. To this end, we’ve created a space that helps them solve problems and provides growth opportunities.”

Staples Canada in Calgary’s University District (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Staples Canada in Calgary’s University District (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

The University District store is its second one to be 100 per cent Bullfrog Powered – Bullfrog’s electricity comes exclusively from wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada under its EcoLogo program. 

“Calgary is a great market for Staples. We’ve always done well in Calgary,” added Boone. “In this particular area, we are close to businesses, we are close to the university, we’re close to a retail district (CF Market Mall). And we’re really excited about this development. We got really intrigued by that.

“Many years ago we used to have a store close to here attached to a mall (CF Market Mall). And so we thought we could better serve the community here and with the new co-working, the innovation centres being created, entertainment, it’s a very unique concept and we want to bring our most unique concept here. (University District) really fits who we are. I’m very excited about being part of this innovation and entertainment park and attached to the university because as The Working and Learning Company it makes a lot of sense for us.”

Staples has more than 300 locations and its seven co-working facilities are located in Toronto, Kelowna, Oakville, Ottawa and Calgary.

Staples Canada in Calgary’s University District (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)
Staples Canada in Calgary’s University District (Image: Mario Toneguzzi)

Boone said the retailer has the potential to expand its Studio concept “significantly more than we have now.”

“We haven’t put a number on it. But we’ve been watching post COVID what’s going to happen. We’re now at a point where we’re actually seeing demand come back and so I think there’s an opportunity for quite a few for us but we don’t yet have a number,” said Boone.

“There’s multiple different programs you can get in a Studio. You can lease an office in here. That’s been incredibly popular across Canada and we’re already seeing these offices in Calgary being leased out. You can buy and drop in or you can buy a regular monthly membership with unlimited access and you can access all of our studios across Canada. 

“We’re trying to take the services that Staples have, the products we have, and a great experience, community experience, in Studio and put it together to create something unique for those that don’t want to be working from home or working from a cafe.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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