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News Release

Staples to Acquire Office and Manufactured Products Unit of Ivan Allen Company
WESTBOROUGH, Mass. and ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 13, 1998-- Staples Inc., (NASDAQ:SPLS) and Ivan Allen Company today announced a definitive agreement under which Staples will purchase the office and manufactured products assets of Ivan Allen.

The transaction, subject to government approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. No further financial details were disclosed.

The sale includes all assets of Ivan Allen's delivered office and manufactured products operations including those in Atlanta and 14 divisional sales offices in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. The units recorded revenues of more than $60 million in 1997.

Staples also has a delivered office products business, called Staples Contract and Commercial, which recorded about $1 billion in sales in 1997.

The Allen family will continue to operate one of the world's largest steelcase furniture dealerships under the name of Ivan Allen Company. The contract furniture operation plans to continue its aggressive growth in the Southeast market.

"The strong position of the Ivan Allen office products unit in the Southeast marketplace and its reputation for excellent customer relations and top quality employees makes it a very attractive partner for Staples," said Ronald L. Sargent, president, Staples North American Operations. "We plan to aggressively expand in the Southeast region marketplace and are pleased that Ivan Allen will join Staples."

"We are pleased to have found a buyer with Staples' national reputation and the desire to expand Ivan Allen's business," said H. Inman Allen, chairman and chief executive officer of Ivan Allen. "This opportunity will provide Ivan Allen's office products unit with the critical resources needed to compete effectively and grow its revenues."

Sargent said Staples will license the use of the Ivan Allen name for the next two years and will operate as Staples/Ivan Allen as it integrates the business into the Staples Contract and Commercial operations.

Staples is a $5 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, and technology to consumer and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Staples, headquartered outside Boston, invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company, which has grown earnings per share at a 38 percent compound rate over the last four years, has over 32,000 associates serving the business customer through 830 office superstores, mail order catalogs, and a contract business. More information is available on Staples at http.//www.staples.com.


     CONTACT: Media Contacts: 
              Dan Kaferle                            
              Director, Public Relations                             
              508-370-8635                                           
              Staples Inc.                                           
              dan.kaferle@staples.com
              or
              H. Inman Allen           
              President and CEO        
              404-332-3032             
              hiallen@ivanallen.com    
              or           
              Investor Contact: 
              Sam Levenson
              Vice President, Investor Relations
              508-370-7963
              Staples Inc.
              sam.levenson@staples.com