WARNING: Really long blog post.
The perfect becomes the imperfect. The go-to place becomes deserted.
I fear Staples is heading in that direction. Next year, Fordham Prep will require that all students have a Windows 8 computer. Many schools are going through this transition as well.
So what does that mean for Staples? To sum it up quickly, it means a lot.
There’s no longer a need for a notebook when you can open up a document on your computer instead. Once you get the computer, everything else is free. Not only does that mean free notebooks, but some schools have started to implement etextbooks as well. Instead of carrying that heavy textbook in your backpack or shoving it into your locker, the electronic option is available.
With a computer, there is no longer a need for pens or pencils. This sentence didn’t appear because of a pencil or a pen. That sentence (and this one) appeared because they were typed.
Instead of worksheets on paper, students can be given the worksheet online. If all of the teachers of a particular school do this, folders are no longer needed. All of the worksheets just get organized on the computer.
The endless search for a 2 subject notebook is over. Two documents on the computer do the job for you.
The eraser has been replaced with the backspace button, and all you have to do to get a calculator is to search it on Google. Books will turn into eBooks. Only the sports lockers will be left. Maybe the backpack can even be left home.
The ruler and protractor haven’t been figured out yet, but if everything else has been figured out, we can only imagine how long it will take before those get figured out.
Fordham Prep has a computer center, but I don’t know what is going to become of that. Everyone will already have their own computer next year.
Backpacks are going to get a lot lighter, and since so much is in one device, less people will forget a particular notebook. All a student needs is a computer, and that student will already have virtually all of their supplies.
Staples is in danger. Staples is the go-to place for getting school supplies. In late August and early September, everyone is going to Staples. If there isn’t a notebook on the shelf, that’s too bad. You’ll just have to go to another Staples and search for that notebook. What if your also looking for folders? When you go home from Staples, what happens when you realize you needed to buy a box of #2 pencils? It’s another commute to Staples, another moment of anxiety when you wonder if Staples still have pencils, and of course, the lines.
The computer solves all of that because it gives you what you would have gotten, but the computer is way more convenient. The student body at Fordham Prep contains about 950 students. Let’s say all of those students spend $5 at Staples for school supplies. Staples would get a total of $4750 in sales (I used the Google calculator for that one). Since all Fordham Prep students will be required to have Windows 8 computers, going to Staples will no longer be a requirement. Staples loses $4750 in profit from 950 students alone.
Then, other schools require computers, and less people go to Staples. It’s already happening to Barnes & Nobles on a much larger scale. eBooks are dominating the market that used to belong to stores like Barnes & Nobles. Borders is done for (remember who they were). Barnes & Nobles is fighting to stay in business.
This is the calm before the storm. Fordham Prep is going to require their students to have computers. Many other schools will follow, and some of them already started.
Staples is safe now, but soon it will be placed in a dangerous situation. The market won’t be able to support Staples as it does now. Staples will have sell products for business savvy people such as business cards or something like that. Focusing on selling school supplies will no longer be an option.