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Internet Retailer reports that Staples plans to open an E-Commerce Innovation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this spring, aimed at “designing and deploying e-commerce tools and features to serve Staples’ customers.”

“Cambridge is a hub of innovation, with both world-class universities and technology companies,” Brian Tilzer, the company’s vice president, e-commerce and business development, tells Internet Retailer. “Staples new E-Commerce Innovation Center will become the home to some of the world’s best e-commerce talent with the goal of rapidly bringing breakthrough new ideas to market in emerging online technologies like mobile commerce and social media.”

The story goes on to say that Staples’ move is seen as similar to the decision by Walmart to create @WalMartLabs in Silicon Valley, which “works on creating social network and mobile technology that could tie together online shoppers and the chain’s stores.”
KC's View:
Companies have to make a real commitment to the e-commerce segment ... and while not everybody needs to create a separate innovation center on this scale, it is critical that there be people on staff who have as their job challenging traditional assumptions and creating new online business models specifically designed to put the traditional business out of business.