Staples Acquires HiTouch Business Services, a Promotional Products and Office Supplies Company
The news surrounding Staples has been less than stellar, with sizable layoffs that came after a failed merger with Office Depot and the loss of its CEO. But, in May, we hypothesized that while the news looked bad on the surface, the company could be turning things around and getting ready for a positive change.
The beginning of that phase might have come on June 26, when Staples announced that it acquired HiTouch Business Services, which, among other services, sells office supplies and promotional products to companies in the U.S.
HiTouch will now be part of the Staples Business Advantage delivery program, according to a press release, and will operate its e-commerce platform independently of Staples, but will maintain a status as a Staples-affiliated distributor.
"We think Staples can bring tremendous value to HiTouch Business Services in the form of more robust capabilities and the scale that comes with being the industry leader for workplace solutions," Sandy Douglas, Staples CEO, said in a press release. "The combination of HiTouch's sales organization and the strength of Staples will allow us to give customers an even higher level of service.
Douglas hinted at the possibility of more acquisitions like this in the future, saying that the company "will continue to look for strategic opportunities like this one where we feel we can help create better options for businesses in the marketplace."
"We will continue to support businesses as we always have, but now with enhanced solutions from a best-in-class service provider," HiTouch president and CEO John Frisk said. "Together, we can create a new business model, which leverages the size of a company like Staples with the local touch HiTouch is known for to create a truly differentiated offering."
This is the first positive move Staples has made in a while, and it comes at a time when more and more recognizable names to non-industry folks are increasing their presence in the promotional products space. Granted, HiTouch isn't as big of a name as Walmart or Amazon, but it adds to Staples' already sizable promotional products footprint.
Whether it's enough to pull Staples out of a slump, or at least is the beginning of more progress like Douglas hinted at, remains to be seen.