Staples is discontinuing Staples Connect, the proprietary automated home and office platform it launched in 2013, and is transferring Staples Connect to a system using products from two companies, Z-Wave Products and Zonoff software.
Staples Connect was one of the earliest retailer-specific smart home ecosystems; though Staples will discontinue selling Staples Connect in stores and online, the Staples Connect service and related products will be supported in collaboration with Z-Wave and Zonoff. Z-Wave has a dedicated web page for Staples Connect customers.
Staples Connect works with some 150 lighting, climate control, home security and other products from the likes of Lutron, Philips, Honeywell, First Alert, Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Leviton, Cooper, GE, D-Link, Radio Thermostat, Linksys, Sylvania, Aeon Labs, Doorbot, Jasco, Jawbone and Goji, Twice magazine reports.
More than a year after Staples announced it would acquire rival Office Depot for $6.3 billion, the deal effectively ended in mid-May, when a U.S. District Court Judge granted the Federal Trade Commission's request for an injunction over concerns the combined company would wield too much power and influence in the business contracts space, impeding competition. Faced with figuring out a different path to profitability and growth Staples has said it will work to dominate in core office supply categories like ink, toner and paper, and possibly divest its European operations while exploring other acquisitions.
The Connect system was an attempt to bring customers a unified experience across all their smart home and office devices, rather than relying on multiple apps to control them all. But Connect no longer fits within Staples' post-merger vision: Staples spokesperson Mark Cautela told Twice the decision to outsource Connect is due to “changing market dynamics and a focus on more business-oriented solutions.”
Shira Goodman, who succeeded Staples CEO Ron Sargent on an interim basis in June, said her growth plan calls for “intensifying our focus on our… mid-market business customers,” Twice added.
Connect products were sold online and merchandised in about 550 Staples stores. Cautela said that the decision to shutter Connect wasn’t taken lightly, given the potential effect on Staples’ customers. Lowe's rival Iris program and Home Depot's Wink remain options for consumers looking to adopt another retailer-backed smart home and office system.