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BACK Enhances E-commerce Site for Contract Customers; New Features Reduce Clicks And Provide Comprehensive Cost Monitoring

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 4, today announced enhancements to, the company's e-commerce procurement solution for contract customers, that make it easier for medium-to-large-sized businesses to save time and money ordering office supplies online. The upgraded Web site features comprehensive reporting functions to better track and monitor spending and improved navigation to help users quickly make product selections and purchases.

"Our contract customers recognize that moving procurement processes online eliminates manual paper processing, improves employee productivity, and saves their company time and money," said Anne-Marie Keane, vice president of business-to-business electronic commerce for "We've implemented these enhancements to to make it even simpler for customers to quickly select items from our comprehensive inventory, keep on top of office supply expenses and benefit from Staples' aggressive contract pricing."

By streamlining, customers can decentralize office supply purchasing while centralizing and controlling costs. Individual employees can place orders that are approved by a designated manager, while purchasing agents can use the site's "Report Wizard" to evaluate office supply expenses by budget center, individual employee, bill to, or ship to location. Customers reduce their time spent ordering supplies through an enhanced search engine and customized personal and company lists for frequent repeat purchases.

The site's backend integration gives customers access to real-time, live inventory availability, company-specific contract pricing, delivery lead times and shipping status by line item. In addition, customers receive automatic e-mails on the status of their orders.

According to a recent study by Forrester Research, business-to-business e-commerce is projected to increase from $43 billion in 1998 to $1 trillion by 2003. Additionally, Forrester reports that most global 2,000 companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on consumables, such as office products, and can take advantage of Internet purchasing to cut costs on these items by one to two percent.

About is Staples Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SPLS) e-commerce business that sells office supplies and services to the business customer via the Internet. In November 1999, Staples shareholders approved the company's plans to create a separate stock, stock, intended to reflect the performance of its e-commerce business. includes the operations of all three of the company's e-commerce sites:, and The division's mission is to be the online destination for business. More information about the company is available at

     CONTACT: Staples Inc.
              Debby Hohler, 508-253-8509