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BACK Named Forbes Best Of The Web For Small Business

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.-- September 21, 2001 -- Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) today announced that has been named one of the best online destinations for small business customers. Forbes' "Best of the Web: B2B" ranking of top B2B companies and sites appears in the September 2001 issue of the magazine and focuses on business-to-business applications, partnerships and transactions on the Web.

"At Staples, we are constantly identifying new ways to leverage the power of the Web to better serve our customers," said Jeanne Lewis, president of "We're honored that Forbes has recognized our commitment to providing small business customers the highest levels of service, value and convenience online."

With more than one million registered users and 413,000 repeat monthly users, is one of the most comprehensive, easy-to-use resources for small businesses to grow their business with office supplies, business services, content and community. Customers have responded with sales projected to approach nearly $1 billion this year. In addition, recently reached profitability, six months ahead of company expectations.

To provide customers with a highly efficient and satisfying online shopping experience, Staples has built industry-leading functionality and features into Site development is based largely on direct customer input and feedback, part of Staples ongoing commitment to focusing on customers. features include persistent search and shopping features, e-mail reminders, and a "Business Community" window that provides customers with expert advice and answers to small business questions. Other innovations include a user-defined favorite-items list for quick ordering of essentials, live chat, a powerful search engine that groups hits into categories, and a shopping cart that stays with the shopper anywhere on the site. also provides small business customers with comprehensive Solution Centers to help small businesses save time and money building, marketing and supporting their business. Each online center provides an extensive selection of business services, products and informative resources to help simplify critical business decisions.

Forbes' "Best of the Web" honor is the most recent in a string of awards for Staples, including CIO magazine's 14th annual "CIO-100" award honoring companies that are innovating in products and services, business processes or relationships with partners and clients. Other recent Staples honors include being named by InternetWeek as one of the top 100 e-businesses and by ComputerWorld as being one of the best places to work for IT professionals.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, business services, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at About Forbes Inc., a leading Internet media company, is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning., located at, includes real-time original reporting on business, technology, investing and lifestyle; the complete online editions of Forbes magazine, Forbes Global, Forbes ASAP and Forbes FYI; stock and mutual fund quotes; comprehensive company profiles; an expanded online version of Best of The Web; a wide array of interactive tools, calculators and databases, including People Tracker, the annual Forbes Lists; and a Lifestyle section that currently focuses on high-end vehicles, collecting, real estate and travel.

Owen Davis
Staples Inc.

Kimberly Baker
Schwartz Communications