Staples snaps up retail personalization platform PNI

Summary:The purchase of PNI could serve both the online and in-store ends of Staples' business by bringing PNI's traditionally digital service to the physical store.

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Office supply retailer Staples Inc. continues its mission of reinvention on Monday with news it has acquired PNI Digital Media, provider of personalization software for retailers.

Retailers can utilize PNI's PaaS product online, through mobile devices or from in-store kiosks — offering retailers a turnkey personalization service where consumers can custom design products ranging from business cards to wedding invitations. 

While Staples ranks high on the list of the world's largest Internet retailers, the company's brick-and-mortar stores have been battling the showrooming fight along with the rest of the retail industry. The purchase of PNI could serve both the online and in-store ends of Staples' business by bringing PNI's traditionally digital service to the physical store.

Damien Leigh, SVP of Staples Business Services, said in the announcement:

As a part of Staples, we expect PNI to continue to innovate on an open platform and share their innovations with both their current customers and with Staples’ Business Services division.

Staples has put forth some serious effort building up its in-store offerings. Last summer the U.S. Postal Service struck a deal with Staples to install 82 contract postal units in Staples stores around the country. Just last month Staples announced a partnership with 3D Systems Corp. that will give customers at individual Staples stores in New York City and Los Angeles access to 3D printing capabilities. Both deals seek to solve the common conundrum facing today's brick-and-mortar stores — how to bring more people in-store and keep them there until they make a purchase. 

Topics: E-Commerce

About

Natalie Gagliordi is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in Louisville, Kentucky, covering business technology for ZDNet. She previously worked as the editor of Kiosk Marketplace, an online B2B trade publication that focused on interactive self-service technology, while also contributing to additional websites that covered retail tec... Full Bio

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