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Staples Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Initial Public Offering

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 1999--Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Initial Public Offering, a return on investment that tops 2600 percent for the ten year period, and a five year (FY94 to FY98) compounded annual earnings per share growth of 33 percent.

``When we announced our initial IPO back in 1989, few believed we would be successful but we knew we had a tremendous retail concept,'' said Staples Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas G. Stemberg. ``What we didn't know was that our mission, to help businesses slash the cost and hassle of running their offices, would ring so true with the millions of small business owners and that we would deliver such tremendous returns to our shareholders.''

Staples superstores have grown in number from 44 stores in ten U.S. states in 1989 to 957 stores in North America and Europe, helping to drive revenue to more than $7 billion in FY1998 from $120 million in FY1989. The size of Staples stores also has increased. In 1989, Staples typical store model consisted of 16,000 square feet of warehouse-like space with copy areas. Today, the prototypical Staples superstore is about 24,000 square feet, and has a full service Copy Center, Technology Center and an enlarged technology products section.

Over the last ten years, the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) in Staples superstores has grown by about 60 percent, from 5,000 SKUs to 8,000 SKUs, with technology products and peripherals playing a key role in that increase. In 1989, the most popular products were four-drawer vertical files, wood furniture and swivel chairs. And while these items are still in demand, Staples' merchandise assortment has kept pace with emerging technology. The hottest selling items today are hand-held PCs and organizers, digital cameras, build-to-order computers and technology supplies, like toner cartridges. In addition, Staples is responding to the growing needs of small business by offering services to help them run their offices more efficiently. The company now offers communications services from Sprint and technology assistance, such as PC memory upgrades, and pilot programs for payroll and computer networking services.

Since 1989, Staples has added three sales channels to its traditional retail superstores to better serve customers the way they want to shop. In 1989, Staples launched its catalog business, Staples Direct, and expanded its catalog presence in 1998 by acquiring direct marketer, Quill Corporation. A service for larger and multi-site companies that prefer to order office products on a contract basis was added in 1993 when Staples purchased National Office Supply Company and Spectrum Office Products. And looking forward to future opportunities, the company expanded into the online marketplace in 1998 with Staples.com, its electronic commerce site where customers can shop online at www.staples.com and order office supplies with the click of a mouse.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and business from home-based businesses to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has more than 44,000 employees serving customers through more than 950 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.


Contact:
     Staples Inc.
     Media Contact:
     Shannon Lapierre
     Public Relations Manager
     508-253-8468
     shannon.lapierre@staples.com
      or
     Investor Contact:
     Diane Basile
     Director of Investor Relations
     508-253-7963
     diane.basile@staples.com