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Staples Inc. Announces Plans to Create Tracking Stock for E-Commerce Unit and Names Jeanne M. Lewis President of Division
    Business/Technology Editors

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 15, 1999--Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced its board of directors has approved plans to create a new class of common stock -- Stock -- that will track the performance of the company's e-commerce business. Creating a tracking stock will allow Staples to aggressively pursue electronic commerce and become the preeminent office supply seller to small businesses on the Internet.

The plans to create a tracking stock are subject to shareholder approval. The company expects to file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its plans within the next few weeks, and has no immediate plans for an initial public offering of Stock.

"Staples is committed to becoming the dominant supplier of office supplies and services across all our sales channels, including the Internet, our retail stores, catalog operations and contract business," said Staples Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas G. Stemberg. "A dedicated, well-resourced e-commerce unit - along with the tremendous strength of Staples' existing franchise - will allow us to more effectively deploy the talent and focus necessary to dominate the $250 billion office supply market."

Stemberg noted that as part of the plan to put Staples' best talent behind the e-commerce opportunity, the company has promoted Jeanne M. Lewis, formerly executive vice president of marketing, to the new position of president for and promoted Jeffrey L. Levitan, formerly senior vice president for, to executive vice president of strategy and development for

"Jeanne brings extensive company expertise, as well as a superb track record in building the Staples brand across all our sales channels. Jeff has done an outstanding job of establishing our Internet presence and will be responsible for expanding its business to new areas. Leaders such as Jeanne and Jeff will give a distinct competitive advantage," said Stemberg.

The tracking stock will include all three of the company's e-commerce businesses:, and (formerly Staples Network Advantage Plus, or S.N.A.P.), each specifically designed to serve a target customer base. is the company's public Web site that serves the home office and small business customer via the Internet. The site was launched in November 1998. is a public Web site operated by Quill, which was acquired by Staples in May 1998, and serves a small- to medium-sized business customer. serves Staples' medium- to large-sized business customers who purchase office supplies on a contract basis via the Internet.

The tracking securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, which may only be made by prospectus, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 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 over 46,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,000 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Staples Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-Q for the most recently ended fiscal quarter.


     CONTACT: Staples, Inc. 
              Shannon Lapierre, 508/253-8468
              Public Relations Manager
              Catherine Woods, 508/253-7342
              Investor Relations Manager