Merchant Innovation

Amazon Echo Heads To Staples In Exclusive Deal

Amazon has taken the next step toward having the Amazon Echo sold on a site outside of Amazon.com.

The eCommerce giant announced Monday (Aug. 3) that it has secured a deal with Staples to see its voice-controlled smart speaker on Staples.com, which was given the exclusive rights as Amazon’s third-party retailer for the device, Bloomberg reported. The device will sell for $179.99, which is the same price it’s listed at on Amazon.

While the Echo is headed for a site outside its home, that doesn’t mean the device will make its way to Staples’ bricks and mortar. The Echo will only be available online, which had one analyst questioning the decision.

 “I am not sure what they hope to accomplish,” Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg.“It really makes no sense to me without a retail presence.” 

Amazon hasn’t released specific figures about how many Echos it has sold, but it did announce that it sold 4,000 of the devices on its Amazon Prime Day last month. Outside of Amazon and Staples.com, the device won’t be offered elsewhere for now, but Brittany Turner, an Amazon spokeswoman, told Bloomberg that that partnership is similar to ones it has with other retailers on specific products.

“Our goal is to make our devices available wherever customers want to buy them,” she said.

But Amazon and Staples haven’t always been on the same side. Just in May, Staples CIO Tom Conophy had some strong words to say about how the retailer plans to upgrade its dynamic pricing abilities to combat Amazon, saying “we’re going after Amazon in a big way.”

“We coasted and lost our way and didn’t see the onslaught coming from Amazon,” Conophy said at the time, noting that the company wasn’t going to coast anymore as it has strategic plans in place to combat the eCommerce giant.

But now, it seems the two companies have found a way to make a deal to promote a product Amazon has put a lot of stake in lately. In general, Amazon has focused its attention toward its connected commerce products, such as the Amazon Dash buttons and the Echo.

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