Staples embraces online shopping inside office supply stores

Staples’ Omnichannel store, like this one in Norwood, Massachusetts, blends internet and brick and mortar retailing. The kiosks are set up to allow consumers to buy online what they can’t find in stores.
Staples kiosks allow consumers to buy online what they can’t find in stores.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

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The Velocity Lab looks and feels like a classic Cambridge start-up, filled with researchers developing the next generation of products that will drive digital commerce on computers and phones.

The only hint about the company behind the Kendall Square lab is practically hidden, around a corner and down a hall. It’s a single, small, red-and-white sign for Staples Inc., the Framingham office supply giant firmly rooted in the physical world with 1,536 brick and mortar US superstores.

The company that invented the office superstore concept in Brighton nearly three decades ago is moving fast to reinvent the way it does business by embracing online shopping inside its stores. Staples is counting on technology developed at its Velocity Lab and overnight delivery to blend mobile, online, and in-store shopping.

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