Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2000 (Revised December 2000)

by Thomas R. Eisenmann, Joanna M. Jacobson and Gillian Morris

Abstract, the online unit of the U.S. office supplies retailing chain Staples, faces a range of strategic and organizational issues as it accelerates its growth. Should it pursue only existing Staples customers or consumers who do not shop in Staples stores? How quickly should it add services (e.g. legal, payroll, accounting) to its product offering? Which operating functions should be shared between the online units and the core business? Should be spun off as a tracking stock?

Keywords: Supply Chain; Business Units; Business Model; Growth and Development; Online Technology; Entrepreneurship; Business Strategy; Service Industry; United States;


Eisenmann, Thomas R., Joanna M. Jacobson, and Gillian Morris. "" Harvard Business School Case 800-305, February 2000. (Revised December 2000.)