I have been planning to write about my visit to Staples from quite some time and now I have finally found some time 🙂
Staples is one of the worlds largest office supply retail store chain and they entered India via a joint venture with Kishore Biyani’s Pantaloon Retail Limited. The biggest store in Bangalore is located on the Sarjapur Outer Ring Road (Next to Reliance Fresh/Opposite Innovative Multiplex).
Update – Staples has now opened a new store in Koramangala (near Forum Mall)
A store like Staples is tailor made for a gadget freak like me. When it comes to electronic goods/computer accessories, I am not constrained by my bank balance, I’m only restricted by the limit on my credit card 🙂
However I was more than disappointed with the store and I believe Staples would be more disappointed with the amount that I spent. More details on my shopping experience below:
- First of all I had no trouble in getting the parking space. Other than the space available in front of the store, part of the service road is “officially” used for Staples parking. In fact, even the main outer ring road itself is misused for parking.
- As soon as you enter the store, you are greeted with LCD monitors on the left. I have been thinking of buying one from a long time and was excited to see this rack first; however it was only short lived since Staples has only stacked 17″ – 20″ monitors. Also the vendors were restricted to Acer and HP ! What about Dell ? Well I had read that Staples will start selling Dell Monitors, but I guess its probably not applicable in India yet.
- Going ahead you will find the left part completely filled with software and game CD’s/DVD’s. I checked on the price of Vista Ultimate and it was mentioned as 24K INR. I asked for more clarification on the price only to find that the staples workforce was not that educated ! (Indiatimes is selling the same for 15K INR)
In fact one common problem I noticed was that the entire sales force was not educated/trained to sell the items stocked up in Staples. I guess they were expected to learn over the period of time. Every time you ask something, you find them running towards some other sales guy for more clarification. And when none of them are clear about what the customer is asking, they finally flock towards the manager of the store !
- There is a small section for laptop’s, digital cameras and camcorders which I conveniently skipped.
- I have been wanting to buy an external hard drive from quite some time and when I asked about Western Digital Passport drive, the sales guy gave me a “what is that” look !
- I got the same kind of look for the following items
- Duplex Accessory for my HP C6180 Printer
- Compressed Air (which I thought I could use to clean my laptop keyboard)
- Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard
- HP Photo Printing Paper – Staples which has received 100 million USD from HP to sell only their ink cartridges hasn’t received the same kind of payment for photo paper I believe. After being recently sued over the printer ink prices, I am not sure HP and Staples will again pair up for exclusively selling the HP photo paper.
- What you do get is :
- A good enough collection of web cameras
- Writable CD’s /DVD’s
- Small collection of Printers
- Label Makers
- Ink Cartridges (HP/Epson/Brother)
- Wireless Routers – Again restricted to only Netgear and Linksys
- The second floor of staples has :
- Print Center
- Apple “Corner” – The small corner with Apple products is probably enough for marketing Staples as the official Apple distributor in India, but might not be enough for a Mac Fan.
- Lots and lots of office supplies – Paper/Envelopes/Labels/Whiteboards/Pens/Staples/Clips etc etc
- Nilkamal Computer Tables – Totally sucks
- Unbranded Chairs – Some of them were good looking and they were unfortunately attached with a big price tag.
To summarize, I would say that it was definitely refreshing to see Staples in India; However me personally didn’t find many of the items that I wanted to buy. It might not be the same for everyone, so go checkout Staples and have fun 🙂
If you already visited Staples and had fun, please do share you experience in the comments section.