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News Release

Staples Launches Quill Brand in the United Kingdom
    Business/Technology Editors

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 1999--

    ...Office Supplies Retailer Expands European Presence...

    Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced that it has launched its Quill catalog business in the United Kingdom to offer business customers access to competitive pricing, excellent customer service and a wide selection of office supply products.

"Europe is a target growth region for Staples and we see tremendous potential for the Quill brand to help increase our share of the office supplies business overseas," said Ronald L. Sargent, president and chief operating officer of Staples. "Quill is an excellent addition to our European operations; it satisfies the demands of a broader market segment, in terms of size and product and service needs."

Quill's U.K. operations, including a call center that also serves Staples Direct customers, are located in Birmingham, about 120 miles north of London. A 120,000-square-foot distribution center in Dudley, just west of Birmingham, also serves both Quill and Staples Direct U.K. customers.

In addition to launching its Quill brand, Staples will open 20 office superstores in Europe during 1999. Currently, Staples has 50 stores in the United Kingdom and 25 stores in Germany, and operates its Staples Direct catalog in those countries, as well.

Quill, which was acquired by Staples in May 1998, is a premier database marketer and uses this expertise to identify and establish relationships with its customers. Using extensive and sophisticated data sets, Quill is able to target special product offerings and customized catalogs to those who would be most likely to purchase from them. For example, Quill produces a catalog that includes products specifically tailored to the legal industry and distributes it to law firms and attorneys.

"We have been extremely impressed with Quill's continued success in the U.S. and the cost synergies achieved with the integration of Quill and Staples Direct," said Sargent. "We're maintaining the best practices of both companies and developing a highly effective direct marketing organization, domestically and abroad."

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and business from home-based businesses to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has more than 44,000 employees serving customers through more than 950 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at


     CONTACT: Staples Inc.                           
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              Shannon Lapierre                       
              Manager of Public Relations            
              Investor Contact:                      
              Diane Basile                           
              Director of Investor Relations