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Take that, Amazon! Staples unveils price match policy

Staples Inc., the Framingham-based office supply giant looking to regain its mojo, unveiled a new price match policy Thursday that seeks to ensure that the retailer’s customers pay the lowest prices, both at company stores and at its e-commerce Web sites.

Lynne Sladky /Associated Press/File 2011

The new Staples Price Match Guarantee starts Nov. 3, the company said in a press release. Under the new policy, Staples will price match items sold and shipped by Amazon.com or any retailer that sells products in both retail stores and online under the same brand.

“Staples is committed to offering great products at the best prices,” Alison Corcoran, senior vice president of North American stores and online marketing, said in a statement. “Whether shopping in-store or online, Staples customers will be able to shop confidently, during the holiday season and beyond, knowing that we are providing them with all the right products and must-have gifts at the lowest prices.”

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Staples seemingly finds itself going more head to head with Amazon.

Staples recently acquired Runa, a small four-year-old California software company said it planned to develop a new e-commerce lab at its Silicon Valley headquarters. The disclosure, a Globe story noted, came less than three weeks after Staples announced plans to open a second e-commerce lab devoted to Staples.com in Seattle, the home of online retailing giant Amazon.com. The company’s first e-commerce center, the Velocity Lab in Kendall Square, opened in December and focuses on mobile technologies.

“That was easy” is a Staples marketing mantra, but things haven’t been so easy for the retailer of late. Although Staples still sells more than $20 billion of office supplies each year and remains comfortably profitable, it faces unprecedented challenges from competitors and changing technology, a September story in The Globe reported. To address those challenge, Staples is tweaking its business strategy. Part of that strategy is putting more emphasis on e-commerce and reducing the total square footage devoted to brick-and-mortar retail.

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