Total Retail Talks
Total Retail Talks is for retail executives who crave the knowledge and insights needed to stay successful in today's fast-paced industry. Through engaging talks and focused interviews, listeners take away useful information and practical advice from a full roster of retail experts, influencers and leaders.

In episode 281 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Stacey Helbig, vice president of solution strategy, and Brian Coupland, senior vice president of merchandising at Staples. Listen in as Helbig and Coupland discuss the Staples Connect Breakthrough Project, the inspiration behind the initiative, and the criteria being used to evaluate new product ideas during the competition. They share how Staples plans to integrate these new products into its stores and e-commerce site, why it's imperative that the retailer supports small businesses during this time, and why entrepreneurs are excited about entering into the competition.

Furthermore, Helbig and Coupland discuss how Staples is featuring the winning makers' and their products both in its stores and on its website, some of the goals of the Connect Breakthrough Project, how the entire organization collaborated to launch the initiative, and what else Staples Connect is working on in 2021.

Stacey Helbig is an energetic and passionate executive with nearly three decades of diverse experience in retail merchandising. Throughout her career, she has managed cross-functional teams; increased sales; led multiple projects simultaneously; and launched new and innovative products, services, initiatives and training sessions.

Brian Coupland is a passionate retail executive with over 30 years of experience, and an extensive track record leading enterprise innovation and transformation initiatives along with results to prove it. As senior vice president, merchandising at Staples U.S. Retail, he leads systemwide merchandising strategy and operations across the U.S. Staples retail network, and has responsibility for financial results. Coupland has led Staples' merchandising organization through brand transformation to become the Working and Learning company with Staples Connect. His previous leadership roles include store operations, marketing, customer insights, and innovation in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

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