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Staples Call Centers Certified by J.D. Power and Associates for Customer Service Excellence; Staples is the First in the Office Products Industry to be Certified

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 26, 2004--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced that J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program(SM) has certified Staples Contract call centers for customer satisfaction excellence. Staples is the first in the office products industry, and one of the first companies nationwide, to have its call centers certified by J.D. Power and Associates.

Staples call centers serving medium and large-sized company customers passed a rigorous audit of quality assurance capabilities, management roles and responsibilities and associate recruiting and training. In addition, J.D. Power and Associates measured Staples' service excellence by surveying customers who recently contacted the call centers and Staples far exceeded the threshold for certification in all seven survey categories. For certification status, J.D. Power and Associates requires a call center to perform within the top 20 percent of customer service organizations based on cross-industry customer satisfaction research.

The Staples Contract call centers handle more than 12,000 customer contacts per day supporting customers with placing orders, product selection, special orders and credits and returns. The call centers are located in Hackensack, New Jersey, Rochester, New York and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"Staples' commitment to customer service excellence is rooted in every point of contact we have with our customers," said Jay Baitler, executive vice president of Staples Contract, North American Delivery. "As we continuously raise the bar on our service, the J.D. Power and Associates certification is a testament to our own high standards and is the benchmark for world-class performance. This certification reflects our 'Perfect Order' culture and is key to our customer focus going forward as we provide industry-leading service and operational excellence every day."

The evaluation criteria used during the survey includes: courtesy of the customer service representative (CSR); knowledge of the CSR; the CSR's concern for the customer questions and/or problem; usefulness of the information provided; convenience of customer service operating hours; ease of getting through to a CSR; and the timely resolution of the customer's problem, question or request.

The Call Center Certification Program was launched by J.D. Power and Associates this year to evaluate overall customer satisfaction and help call centers in various industries increase their efficiency and effectiveness by establishing best practices for handling service calls.

Staples Contract is Staples' fastest growing business with industry-leading double-digit growth for the past four years. The business serves mid-sized companies through Staples Business Advantage and Fortune 1000 companies through Staples National Advantage. Contract works collaboratively with its customers enabling procurement professionals to efficiently manage procurement programs with lowest total delivered cost.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products retailer. With 60,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2003 sales of $13 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging 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. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,600 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Owen Davis, 508-253-8468

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.