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Staples On A Quest For Next Great Office Product Invention Launches Search for Products that Make Work Life Easier

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Imagine sitting at your desk without a stapler, Post-it(TM) Notes or even a paperclip. Ordinary people created these great office products to make their work life easier. Do you have an idea for the next easy office product? Today, Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) launches its annual Staples Invention Quest(TM), offering customers the opportunity to invent the next great office product and potentially have it sold by the company.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/staples/21536

Last year Staples Invention Quest(TM) garnered more than 8,300 entries, four of which are about to hit Staples shelves and make the work day easier. This year's search comes on the heels of some eye opening research recently commissioned by Staples. The research shows that 44 percent of the 1,000 office workers surveyed, stated they have had an idea for a new product but did not know how to bring that idea to market.

"People gravitate towards things that make their lives easier," said Art Fry inventor of the Post-it(TM) Notes. "Staples Invention Quest is an extraordinary opportunity for everyday people to bring their ideas to life without having to go through the laborious process most inventors have to endure. The simple fact is, Staples is making it easier for customers to bring their new office product ideas to market."

Staples Invention Quest(TM)

Staples Invention Quest(TM) is an open invitation across the U.S. for would-be inventors to have the chance to make their office product idea a reality. Multiple finalists' products may be brought to market under the Staples brand and sold exclusively by Staples in its 1,200 U.S. stores and on Staples.com. A panel of judges will select the best office product entry and the winner will receive $25,000 and royalties if Staples brings the winning product to its shelves. Nine semi-finalists will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 and the possibility to have their idea created and sold by Staples.

"Staples goal, in everything we do, is to make things easier for our customers," said Jevin Eagle, senior vice president of Staples Brands for Staples, Inc. "Staples Invention Quest is a great way for the public to tap into their innovative spirit and come up with new, creative office products which make work and life easier."

Last year Todd Basche, of Los Altos, California, won the inaugural Staples Invention Quest(TM) with his WordLock(TM) product. The WordLock(TM), which will appear in Staples stores nationwide and on Staples.com this summer, is a lock that allows users to select their own word combination using letters rather then the traditional number combinations.

The deadline to enter is June 1, 2005 and the winner will be announced fall 2005. Anyone with an idea can enter Staples Invention Quest(TM) at any Staples U.S. store or log onto http://www.staples.com/IQ for an entry form and complete list of rules and regulations.

Americans certainly see the value in office products that make their work lives easier. In fact, according to the recent Braun research survey conducted by Staples, almost three-fourths, 72 percent, of respondents think what makes an office product great is that it makes work and life easier.

Staples Braun Research Survey

According to the Braun survey of 1,000 working Americans commissioned by Staples, the following statistics hold true:

  • The most frequently stolen item from peoples' desks is a pen (59 percent).
  • 28 percent of respondents say the calculator is the greatest office product invention of all-time. Sticky notes came in second capturing 21 percent of the vote.
  • Pens and wireless phones tied at 23 percent as the respondents' most important office products.

For complete fact sheet of survey results visit http://www.staples.com/IQ.

About Staples Brands

Staples offers its customers more than 1,000 Staples brand office products in stores, Staples.com and through catalogs. Products range from ink and toner to paper, filing systems and technology accessories. All Staples products undergo an intense independent laboratory quality-testing program and are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 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 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,680 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

SOURCE Staples, Inc.

CONTACT: Deborah Hohler, +1-508-253-8509, Deborah.Hohler@staples.com, or Ross Jacobs, +1-404-879-9155, Ross.Jacobs@ketchum.com both of Staples, Inc./