Helping you to shop, at Staples
I was at Staples recently and saw an interesting display; a standalone kiosk that dispensed a variety of shopping lists suggesting what school supplies would be needed for diferent grades Let’s forget for a moment that it’s July and they’re selling back-to-school, this was an interesting idea.
I know grocery stores, for example, have toyed with getting shopping lists into customer’s hands in order to presumably help them buy more, but this occasional purchase seems more appropriate. The bottom of the sheets offer handy suggestions on parenting, which Staples frames as “Organizational Tip” – example: “You can’t make the bus come later or stop them from “forgetting” their homework. What you can help with is getting, and keeping, them organized. Binders, notebooks with pockets, folders, and accordion files are all great organizational tools.”
Of course, that’s the solution!
Yeah, I’m a bit cynical, but I think the idea is basically a good one. They have a long way to go if they want to be your kids-management partner (or your workflow management partner, or any other sort of partner based on the types of tools they are selling); they are no Steelcase/Herman-Miller, but the little signs are intriguing.
Also, I saw a funny binder comparison widget that Sara should blog about. On the wall of binders, there is a small device that is intended to help you decide between the Durable binders and the Heavy Duty binders. It’s a small card with the binder rings on either side, with a comparison chart highlighting the different features. But the humor comes from their inability to be direct and point to one version as better than the other. Instead of the Good-Better-Best cliche, they’ve gone for an even more confusing Pretty Darn Great and Really Great. I don’t remember the exact verbage, but one binder might feature Stay-Tite lock rings and the other would feature Sup-R-Secure D-rings. You had to go back to the price point on the individual binders and infer which was actually “better” than the other. Their little display (unlke Sara, I don’t shop with a camera on hand and wasn’t prepared to capture it) is cleanly designed and suggests transparency and helpfulness but it’s really an awful piece of propaganda.