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Jay Baitler Promoted To Executive Vice President of Staples Contract; Leads Staples Contract To Industry Leading Double-Digit Growth For Nearly Four Consecutive Years

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 23, 2004--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced today the promotion of Jay Baitler to executive vice president of Staples Contract, North American Delivery. Baitler, previously senior vice president, will continue to drive Contract's industry-leading growth in providing office supply solutions to medium- and large-sized organizations.

"Jay's tremendous leadership over the past nine years has been instrumental in making Staples Contract our fastest growing business," said Ron Sargent, Staples president and CEO. "He's built the business from its infancy, implementing a unique sales model and leading a highly trained sales force to generate more than one billion dollars in annual sales."

In fiscal year 2003 alone, Staples Contract won 8,950 new customers through the first three quarters and has a customer retention rate in the 90th percentile. Baitler was recently recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine as one of its "Pros to Know." This annual list, featured in the publication's February/March 2004 issue, honors outstanding executives for their contributions to the field of supply and demand chain management.

Reporting to Joe Doody, president of Staples North American Delivery, Baitler is responsible for overseeing Staples Contract, including its business-to-business e-commerce operations, catalog operations, sales and marketing and supplier relationships. Prior to joining Staples in 1995, Baitler served as Northeast Regional President of BT Office Products and previously as President of Summit Office Supply.

A 25-year industry veteran, Baitler is sought after as a procurement expert by financial executives at Fortune 1000 companies and has been recognized for driving operational excellence in feature stories in Strategic Finance and other publications. Baitler is an advisory council member of Office Products International and is industry chair of the Anti-Defamation League. He is a graduate of Union College.

About Staples Contract

Staples Contract serves Fortune 1000 companies through its Staples National Advantage business and mid-sized companies through its Staples Business Advantage business. Contract works collaboratively with its customers enabling procurement professionals to efficiently manage procurement programs with lowest total delivered cost.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2002 sales of $11.6 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes -- from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at

CONTACT: Staples
Owen Davis, 508-253-8468

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.