Staples continues tech focus with new acquisition

Staples has invested further in its eCommerce and digital business with the acquisition of California-based Runa, a software company that helps online retailers increase sales by personalising the shopping experience.

Terms and conditions of the acquisition, which was completed last week, have not been disclosed but it is understood that the office supplies reseller is looking to increase staff numbers at the company's San Mateo facilities in the coming months.

Having recently committed to Staples Labs in Seattle and Cambridge in the US, Staples has shown a willingness to invest in digital innovation. These locations are dedicated to fostering new thinking, projects and product development in the digital space, and the Runa headquarters will effectively become the retailer's third Lab.

CEO and chairman of Staples Ron Sargent said Runa has "a unique platform" and widespread experience in online marketplaces.

He added: "With Runa, we're adding technology to better serve our customers with personalised items, offers, and delivery estimates, all in real-time. Runa will allow us to tap into the wealth of engineering and eCommerce expertise in the Silicon Valley area."

Ashok Narasimhan, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Runa, remarked: "We built Runa with a philosophy of doing more with less, by leveraging the most talented engineers and data scientists in the world, to tackle the most challenging problems in eCommerce.

"As part of Staples, we will retain our culture and agility, while gaining the resources to transform the global eCommerce landscape."

Earlier this year Staples opened its inaugural omnichannel stores, which aim to combine the company's extensive store portfolio with its latest technology. The shops, located in Norwood, Massachusetts and Dover in Delaware, incorporate the retailer's website and mobile assets in the physical retail environment.

Customers can access the business's range of office supplies and commercial solutions via kiosks, which are situated in the omnichannel stores.