|Staples, Inc. Adds Germany to Brand Roster|
BW1141 MAR 25,1998 6:38 PACIFIC 09:38 EASTERN
WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 25, 1998--Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS), today announced that Maxi-Papier, its German office supplies subsidiary, will begin operating under the Staples brand name. The change, effective immediately, is an important step in positioning Staples as a global brand.
The Company launched its international operations in 1992 when it acquired a 48% interest in Maxi-Papier, then a chain of five office superstores. By May 1997 that stake had increased to 92%, and today Staples operates 18 superstores throughout Germany.
"German consumers are responding very positively to the Staples office superstore concept and the U.S.-style deep discounts," says Thomas G. Stemberg, Chairman and CEO. "We see significant growth opportunity in the German market and consider it a vital part of our growth strategy in Europe."
The Company estimates the total market potential for the European Community to exceed 2,000 office superstores, demonstrating tremendous untapped potential for European office superstore expansion. Currently Staples operates eighteen superstores in Germany and has plans to open seven more superstores in the country this year. Fifteen additional stores are anticipated to open in Germany in 1999.
Staples/Germany Demonstrating its commitment to the European market, the Company has already invested $170 million in development costs and will add another $40 million this year. It has also created a world-class management team led by Jack Bingleman,
President of International Operations. Bingleman introduced the office superstore concept in his native Canada, and subsequently was instrumental in Staples growth throughout North America.
For its most recent fiscal year, ended January 31, 1998, Staples' total sales for the year rose to $5.2 billion as compared with $4.0 billion in the prior year, a 31% increase. Earnings per share (before merger related charges) increased 35% to $0.58 per share as compared with $.43 per share in the prior year. Net income (before merger related charges) rose 40% to $149 million as compared with $106 million in the prior year.
Staples, Inc. is a $5 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based offices to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Staples, headquartered near Boston, Mass., originated the concept of the office superstore in 1986 and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The Company, whose earnings-per-share grew at a compound annual rate of more than 40% during the last five years, employs 30,000 associates who serve its customers through more than 760 superstores, catalog and contract operations.
--30--sb/bos* CONTACT: Staples Inc. Jean Papagni, 508/370-8727 email@example.com