Staples Pulls The Plug On Smart Home

Staples entered the home automation space with an inspired, bold plan (and hardware hub). But sustaining the smart home movement required more resolve (in the form of time and money) than they’re obviously willing to commit. From the Friday (of course) email blast:

Staples will discontinue selling Staples Connect in our stores and online, but the Staples Connect service and related products will be supported in collaboration with Z-Wave Products, a leading provider of Z-Wave enabled wireless technology including security, lighting, and energy monitoring products, and smart home software company Zonoff. Z-Wave Products will work with Zonoff to continue to make updates to the Staples Connect App ensuring that it continues to operate with your existing home automation products.

Unlike Nest’s ham-handed approach with Revolv, there’s no public shaming required here to encourage the companies to do the right thing. So, while Staples is ceasing sales of their hub, Z-Wave Products and Zonoff will continue to offer some level of support for existing customers. Further, those who bought in will be compensated with a $50 Staples gift card… which is the break-even point for many. Next!

(Thanks Drew!)

17 thoughts on “Staples Pulls The Plug On Smart Home”

  1. Z-Wave Products has a two year license to use the Staples Connect brand. Who knows if they’ll migrate it to a new brand or not, but for the time being they now own the Staples Connect brand.

  2. Not sure I backed the best horse in the race but Lowe’s has seemed fairly committed Iris so I expect it to make it for at least a few years.

  3. How do those of us who own the Staples Connect attempt to get the $50 you mention? Is it automatic? Is there a web form?

  4. Staples has followed something that more companies should do, if you can’t make a profit on something get out. They might have gotten into the home automation too soon.

  5. Rich, I don’t know what the criteria is. Two of my friends received email outreach with code, PIN, and link for the gift card. I’m not sure if they paid full price, half price, or got it free with some connected accessories. I just emailed Zonoff’s PR firm (which doesn’t represent Staples, but maybe they can help shed some light on the situation).

  6. Well it only took them a year to finally decide on its fate. I agree that it’s great they are actually having a transition plan, unlike many other dead products. Still sad that it sat so long without any progress, so many have already moved on.

    I’ve mostly moved to SmartThings but still use Staples Connect for a few things, like Lutron remote integration with Philips Hue bulbs.

  7. I got the $50 gc,. I got the hub about a year ago,. Believe it was free with 4 connected accessories, so I got hue bulbs, and the hub.

    To bad staples doesn’t carry hue so I can get more bulbs there. Their z-wave collection has shrunk to a few linear and get products.

  8. I didn’t have high hopes for the Staples product. When evaluating various options, the Staples Connect had some great features for the price point, but they didn’t seem to promote it or even separate it out from within their regular online storefront. Home automation hubs and the software and mobile apps that are part of the package are still relatively immature. I want to see frequent app updates, a company-run community, blog, etc.

    Right now it seems like Wink and SmartThings are two of the best options, and they both have their faults. I bought a Vera over three years ago but was so disappointed by what I had read about the setup process and general reliability, that I never bothered to even try setting it up. I’d love to jump in on one of the more mature products, but I still can’t decide between Wink or SmartThings, or whether to wait further.

    The Lowes option scares me for the same reasons that I was hesitant about Staples’ offering. I just worry that Lowes won’t commit to it in the manner that it needs to be committed to.

  9. Staples is powered by Zonoff and why we’ll continue to see some level of support, perhaps even a migration at some point. Whereas Lowes is already onto their second thing and I wonder if the same sort of insurance or safety net exists should they too throw in the towel at some point:

    Not sure what’s up with Wink. Since I last spent time with them, their reliability seems vastly improved but the whole operation has been sold off. Smartthings has Samsung behind them. But for how long? And I didn’t love the system when I evaluated it a few months back.

    Michael Wolf says there’s a shakeup coming real soon and I know of at least one new promising product on the horizon. For now, virtual hubs like Amazon Alexa and IFTTT, paired with dedicated physical hubs (like Arlo, Hue, etc provide) might be the best but messy solution. Stay tuned?

  10. For anyone looking at perhaps moving systems, take a look at HomeSeer ( They are consistently ranked at the top of the HA list for their product, support, longevity, and functionality.

  11. I spoke to Zonoff and their PR folks. Everyone with an active Staples Connect account should have received the $50 gift card outreach. Here’s the Staples support line if you believe you’re eligible but haven’t heard anything: 800-380-1518

  12. It looks like Wink and SmartThings are last standing for the mainstream home automation crowd. I’m not crazy about SmartThings either. I actually like the Staples Connect hub myself, but this was inevitable.

    The recent service disruptions with SmartThings have really opened the door again for Wink again after the security cert issue when they bricked all of their hubs.

    It looks like the high tech IQ people are moving to Home-Assistant and a Z-Stick from what I’ve seen.

  13. I would be interested to see what happens to the existing inventory. While too pricey in my book, would love to pay a discount for one of the hub’s to tear down and play with.

  14. Dave, I didn’t get the gift card email, so I called the number you listed, but they referred me to Staples (800-333-3330). At that number they pushed me to Staples website support where they took my email address and said they would have to go verify that it was a registered email and then get back to me by phone to get the gift card. We’ll see how this works out.

  15. Hopefully they get it sorted for you. I know they’re trying to do the right thing, but it does seem messy.

  16. I am really frustrated by this, I’ve called them multiple times, and they say that if I didn’t get it, I must not have been “eligible” for it. I bought a Linksys hub from them back when they came out and have been using it with locks ever since (and still do). It’s pretty ridiculous that they can’t make it right for one of their long-time customers/users. Now they’re telling me that it got lost in my spam blocker (gmail) or something. They are offering nothing at all. I guess my next step is to resort to social media route (twitter, etc.)

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