NEW YORK: Staples has selected RF Binder Partners, a member of the Ruder Finn Group, to manage its national new store-opening program for 2006.Nancy Moss, executive managing director at RF Binder, said Staples plans on opening about 70 stores around the country during 2006. The majority of those openings will occur in California and New York. Moss said RF Binder will provide community relations, grass roots marketing, media relations, events, and charity work with nonprofits in local markets in support of the store openings.
"The whole goal of this program is to leverage as many community influencers as we can in each community," Moss said. "It's outreach to all of the influencers, not just the nonprofits, but the VIPs, members of the local governments and chambers of commerce."
Moss said linking Staples with local nonprofit groups is a vital component of the program. "We want to link the local non-profit organizations with the opening to promote Staple's on a grassroots level within the community so it's seen as a partner with key local organizations," Moss said.
To date there have been five grand openings this year, the first of which took place in February.
"We do is do a lot of research in the community to identify the perfect nonprofit partner," Moss said. "Usually it's an educational institution or a group that has something to do with the environment. Those are Staple's two main causes they support."
Some of the openings include: Watertown, CT, where Staples partnered with the Watertown High School and Swift Middle School, and got media coverage in the Waterbury Republican-American and the Town Times; and Fayetteville, GA, where the retailer partnered with the Fayette Youth Protection and got coverage in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fayette Citizen and Fayette Daily.
"They've always had a grand opening program," Moss said. "But one of the things we're doing is developing a program that is more strategic about how they partner with the right organization in the town and community. This program has more communications facets to it. This approach is a little more aggressive and strategic."