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Staples, Inc. Announces Its 2001 Products of the Year and Recognizes Outstanding Suppliers
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 7, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Staples, Inc. today announced its annual products of the year and supplier awards, honoring companies for outstanding new products, service support, logistics and category development. The 2001 announcements were made by Richard R. Gentry, executive vice president, merchandising and supply chain management, and Ronald L. Sargent, president and chief executive officer, at an awards ceremony during the company's annual Global Sales Meeting and supplier show in Toronto, Canada.

"The suppliers honored today provide the highest quality products, the best value, excellent service to our customers and training and field marketing support to Staples," said Gentry. "I am pleased to recognize these outstanding suppliers who help us deliver on our mission to slash the cost and hassle of running an office."

The Product of the Year Awards are presented to companies whose products have had the best sales and expanded their total category. The 2001 winners are: Nextel Communications, for its I-1000 Twin Pack wireless phone; Intuit, for its Turbo Tax software; Pilot Pen of America, for its G2 Business Gel Pen; and Champion International for its HP Multi-Purpose 3-Ring Value Pack paper.

The Thomas G. Stemberg Award is the highest single award given to a Staples supplier. This award honors the supplier that has been a true partner with Staples, has embraced the company's vision and is committed to making the company first in its industry by driving business, serving customers and supporting its stores. This year the award went to Microsoft Corporation for forging a multi-year, strategic alliance to offer Internet access through all Staples channels and creating a co-branded portal.

In addition, Staples recognized three Suppliers of the Year who showed exceptional commitment to driving Staples' business through creative programs, timely or special exclusive purchases and marketing support. The winners this year are: Sanford, Symantec Corporation and Brother International Corporation.

The Best Category Development Award is given to the company with exceptional commitment to new and innovative product introductions that expanded Staples' business and growth. The winners are: PNY Technologies for teaming with Staples to develop and execute dynamic Windows XP promotions; Eastman Kodak Company for easy-to-use digital photography products and an expanded line of photo papers including bulk packs; and Cardinal Brands for business forms for the growing contractor market, selection of gift certificates and color-coded packaging.

The Service Partnership Award was given to Danka for its excellence in service levels and work with Canon to provide the latest digital color and black-and-white printers for Staples copy centers.

The Back to School Category Award was given to Manco for its unique product designs and sizes with creative end-cap displays that drove sales and excitement in Staples stores.

The Supply Chain Excellence Award recognizes companies who provide excellent overall supply-chain performance, helping Staples to improve asset productivity. This award went to Bush Industries for its leadership in working with Staples' Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment process and for working closely to expand Staples drop-ship program; O'Sullivan for its cross-functional work to ensure product availability and high levels of customer service during key promotional periods; and Eldon for its performance in lead times, back-order rates, shipment quality and on-time shipping.

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 approximately 53,000 associates serving customers through more than 1,400 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at

Staples, Inc.
Owen Davis
(508) 253-8468