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BACK Joins Leading Education Purchasing Sites Epylon, and; Expands Reach To Education Market

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 31,,'s online contract purchasing solution, today announced it will be available at Epylon, and, the leading providers of online procurement solutions for the education market. School administrations across the country will gain time and cost-savings when purchasing supplies from through these major e-procurement hubs.

"We want to provide to our customers however they choose to manage purchasing," said Anne-Marie Keane, vice president of business-to-business e-commerce for "The education market frequently engages in fragmented purchasing of large volumes of office and school supplies. Tremendous cost savings can be realized when streamlining purchasing through a site such as Epylon, or"

Procurement practices by educational institutions have been inefficient and often fragmented, not allowing the realization of potential human and financial resource savings. By migrating purchasing processes to the Internet, educational institutions can streamline their process and enhance their ability to quickly and easily access the larger community of suppliers. As a result, the purchasing process is faster and more cost-effective. uses Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) to easily integrate with these Web purchasing portals without manual processing or custom re-engineering of legacy, proprietary or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. can connect to any trading network or function independently as a trading partner for an efficient, interconnected business world.

About Epylon Corporation

Epylon is a leading provider of hosted eBusiness solutions for education and government institutions. Epylon's eProcurement solution is designed entirely around the needs of public sector purchasing professionals. Epylon provides one-stop shopping by aggregating thousands of contracts and catalog products online from more than 1,400 suppliers including Staples, Grainger, Xerox, Virco, Wesco and Barnes & Epylon enables buyers to send quotes and bids electronically, offers product reviews, enables cooperative purchasing and facilitates the sharing of best practices among community members. The company currently has over 1,200 registered school districts and government agencies, representing over $7 billion in annual spending.

About ( is a business-to-education e-hub, offering a procurement tool set that connects K-12 school districts with their vendors. Hosting its fully automated procurement engine via the Internet, the company provides a practical solution that mirrors existing processes from requisition through payment -saving time and money that school districts can reallocate to student programs. For vendors, offers a fast, cost-effective way to expand market presence, increase revenue and reduce distribution costs.

About is a complete online purchasing resource for public institutions and their vendors with an initial focus on public schools. Founded by former U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander, the's mission is to save schools $10 billion by 2005 - leaving more dollars for kids in classes. Designed by school business officials for school business officials, provides value by helping school districts and their vendors save money and time when they buy goods and services, as well as by offering related content and information for school business operations. Simplexis is located on the World Wide Web at

About, a division of Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), enables customers to decentralize office supply purchasing while centralizing and controlling costs. Contract customers receive customized catalogs with highly competitive pricing and intuitive functionality online either directly through or through the e-procurement application or e-marketplace of their choice. Employees can place orders that are approved by a designated manager, while purchasing agents can use the site to evaluate detailed reports of office supply expenses. The site provides customers access to real-time, live inventory availability, company-specific contract pricing, delivery lead times and shipping status by line item.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Staples, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-Q for the most recently ended quarter.

CONTACT: Staples Inc.

             Debby Hohler
             Schwartz Communications
             Anthony Iarrapino/Ariana Karsan