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News Release

Staples Inc. Wins E3 Corp's EPIC Award for Partner Innovation; Leading Office Supply Retailer Recognized as an Elite Partner in Inventory Management

ATLANTA and NEW ORLEANS, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- E3 Corp., a global leader in inventory management and Web-based collaborative solutions, today announced Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the pioneer of the office superstore industry, as the winner of its prestigious Elite Partner and Innovation Champion (EPIC) award at FOCUS 2001, E3's Global Supply Chain Conference, being held April 24-27, in New Orleans. The E3 EPIC Award recognizes companies that are experts at maximizing the benefits and full functionality of E3 systems while developing alliances with E3 and other companies to continually improve their supply chain productivity and profitability.

The choice of Staples as the winner of this year's award was based on Staples' long-term performance, achieved results and innovative tactics in the supply chain industry. An E3 customer since 1995, Staples employs the E3SLIM(R) system in its retail stores and the E3TRIM(R) system in its distribution centers on a global basis. From 1997 to the present, the company utilized E3 solutions, in conjunction with other supply chain initiatives, to manage and control its inventory growth.

Meanwhile, Staples has seen both its sales and store count increase dramatically. Staples was able to drive significant improvements in inventory productivity and increase both in stock and service to its customers, even as it was challenged by a period of dramatic growth. By utilizing these supply chain strategies and applications, Staples has realized these improvements across all of its channels of business.

"Six years ago, Staples recognized the need to migrate to best-of-breed systems that could sustain and support the type of growth that we were experiencing. E3 provided systems that have worked within our organization and our existing architecture to help carry us through our growth to a $10.7 billion company," stated George Frongillo, Director of Inventory Management, Application Strategies for Staples Inc. "We're developing a strategic relationship with E3 because they are the core of our forecasting mechanism for replenishment, inventory management and merchandise planning."

"We are proud to name Staples Inc. as the E3 2001 EPIC Award winner," said Dick Lynch, CEO, E3 Corp. "Through innovative implementation of E3's solutions, Staples has seen remarkable results which over the past year have positioned it as the leading retailer exemplifying the industry's best practices in inventory management and replenishment. We look forward to building upon our solid relationship with Staples and supporting its even greater success."

Other key E3 partners nominated for this year's EPIC Awards are:

  • True Value, a leader in the hardware industry with more than 7,000 stores

  • The Limited Inc. (NYSE: LTD), a leading retailer operator of 2,913 specialty stores

  • Kitchens Etc., a leading retailer of kitchen goods and supplies

  • Booker Belmont Wholesale, a top national food wholesaler in the UK

About Staples

Staples Inc. is a $10.7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com .

About E3 Corporation

E3 Corp. helps companies synchronize their inventory decisions with advanced supply chain, inventory management and data mining solutions. The company's Web-based, collaborative products are used by retailers, e-commerce companies, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers. Based in Atlanta, E3 is a proven performer with two decades of profitable growth and more than 800 installations in 20 countries around the world. E3 solutions cross a multitude of industries including: general merchandise, specialty retail, drug, office products, wine and spirits, food, entertainment, auto parts, hardware and industrial supply. For more information, visit E3's web site at www.e3.com .

E3(R), E3SLIM(R) and E3TRIM(R) are registered trademarks of E3 Corporation. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Certain information presented within this news release may constitute forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward- looking statements as a result of various factors.

Staples Safe Harbor

Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including risks related to Staples' ability to compete in its highly competitive market, Staples' ability to continue to successfully open new stores, Staples' quarterly operating results being subject to significant fluctuation, Staples' stock price fluctuating based on the expectations of professional securities analysts, the strain on operations due to Staples' rapid growth which can affect operating results, the ability of Staples' foreign operations and Staples.com to become profitable and the ability of Staples to obtain adequate future financing. Additional information concerning these factors is contained in Staples' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q dated September 11, 2000, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE E3 Corp.

CONTACT: Gary Frazier of E3 Corporate Communications, 770-356-5661, or gfrazer@e3corp.com , or Allison Roberts of Fleishman-Hillard, 404-739-0139, or robertal@fleishman.com , for E3 Corporation/