Staples - A lesson on why you should know your customers

Written by Pete Howroyd 

Ah, Staples! – the place you went at lunch time when you realised you needed a protractor for a maths class in fifth period and couldn’t wait for next day delivery. The stationery store chain disappeared from the High Street in 2016 after the UK arm of its business was sold to a restructuring firm, following the forced abandonment of a $6.3bn merger with fellow US office supply giant, Office Depot.

So, what went wrong?


Unfortunately for Staples, they failed to understand the changing needs of their customer continued to trade they always did and as a result lost their way in an overcrowded market. 


Customer data and insights shed a whole new light on how a business is performing and who is shopping. How can you assess your current performance properly if you don’t know who is shopping with you? How can you see each opportunity and where it lies? The answer is simple; you can’t.

The same can be said for seeing where the issues are coming from. If there are segments of customers who have stopped shopping, then how do you know who they are – and devise strategies for encouraging them to shop again - if you don’t look at the data? At the risk of sounding like a broken record... I'm sorry but; you can’t.


Loyalty programmes are a fantastic tool for collecting the depth of customer data needed to develop a realistic picture of how your customers are interacting with your business. Here, at The Loyalty People, we work with our retail clients to build effective and value adding loyalty programmes which encourage their customers to come back and spend with them again and again – to find out more about how we could help you, get in touch today...

Pete is the founder of The loyalty People and has directed and grown many well-known loyalty programs across department stores, fashion, pharma, and luxury retail. Known within the industry as a thought leader and expert in his field, Pete has a passion for unlocking the value of customer data. Pete founded The Loyalty People to allow businesses to build and accelerate customer loyalty.


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