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In Tough Economic Times Small Investments Can Deliver Big Career Gains

Drop the $600 Blue Pinstripe Suit and Add the $16 Quilted Leather

               Journal Suggests M by Staples(TM) Survey

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 12, 2008--In today's economic climate, U.S. workers believe that small-ticket items, including stylish notebooks and file folders, are the secret to increased productivity, recognition and success - more so than dressing in flashy business attire. According to the M by Staples(TM) national survey, more than half (55 percent) of workers reported that having stylish office supplies gets them noticed in the workplace. In addition, 81 percent of respondents indicated an increase in productivity when they are more organized and carry business tools that allow them to showcase their personality and make a statement (53 percent). Further, more than one-third of respondents believe having stylish office supplies is likely to lead to promotions and opportunities for advancement.

"In developing the M by Staples collection, we spent years researching how business people interact with and depend on their office supplies for confidence and inspiration, and this survey further validates our findings," said Petter Knutrud, senior vice president of merchandising for Staples. "Not only do stylish supplies increase productivity and success in the workplace, they are a smart investment at a great value that will get you noticed - far more than a new pair of designer shoes."

The survey was conducted in association with the official launch of the new M by Staples(TM) collection of high-end journals, notebooks, file folders, stationery, and business essentials such as binder clips, magnets and push pins (see related release, "Staples Unveils the M by Staples Brand to Inspire Creativity and Style in the Workplace," May 12, 2008). Other findings include:

    --  When asked what is noticed first in business meetings, 82
        percent of respondents first notice an office supply item such
        as a stylish journal, chic notebook, file folders, and pens,
        versus someone's shoes (18 percent).

    --  While U.S. workers agree that success is a matter of hard work
        (92 percent), a vast majority agree that success is also
        linked to perceptions created in the workplace (76 percent).

    --  More than half (51 percent) of U.S. workers believe dressing
        in business attire has no affect on their level of

    --  Sixty-one percent of respondents want to break out of the
        mundane and personalize their workplace so that it showcases
        their unique style. Nearly half of U.S. workers (46 percent)
        would nominate their company for an "Office Supplies Extreme

    --  Seventy-four percent agreed that how their workspace is
        maintained reveals a lot about them and their personality,
        while 69 percent of respondents form their opinion of
        co-workers based on how they maintain their space.

    --  Seventy-eight percent report that either they or someone else
        in their workplace is an "Organizilla" - someone who is
        organized and who insists on having their workspace in a
        systematic order.

    --  U.S. workers are willing to spend personal money on their own
        supplies that reflect their unique style. On average, workers
        spend $90.14 per year on office supplies. Interestingly, men
        are likely to spend more money ($134.00 per year) than women
        ($101.00 per year) on these products.

    About the M by Staples U.S. Worker Survey

The M by Staples U.S. Worker Survey was conducted by MarketTools, Inc. which polled 1,070 working Adults, age 18 and over in the U.S. via an online survey conducted from March 26-31, 2008. All participants were employed and had their own dedicated workspace. The overall margin or error is +/- 3%.

About M by Staples

M by Staples stands for "My Style. My Way." Set apart from traditional office supply offerings, the new collection includes features like soft genuine leather, gold-gilded journal edges, quality craftsmanship, elegant designs, and sophisticated colors and patterns to allow greater self-expression in the workplace. Staples brand products are already known for great quality at prices customers love. The M by Staples brand expands on this with products that stand out with style, personality and unexpected details. To locate M by Staples products at Staples stores, see what's new in the collection, or download stationery templates, visit

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 76,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2007 sales of $19.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 22 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates more than 2,000 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at


    CONTACT: For Staples, Inc.
             Katie Sullivan, 508-253-0879
             Christine Gonsior, 212-714-5718

    SOURCE: Staples, Inc.