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Staples Announces Products of the Year and Recognizes Outstanding Vendors
    Business Editors

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 12, 1999--

    ... Avery Dennison Wins Thomas G. Stemberg Award...

    Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced the 1998 vendor awards, recognizing companies that have distinguished themselves by contributing to Staples' continued success. These companies were honored for outstanding new products, store service support, logistics and category development. This is the eighth year Staples has given awards to its vendors.

The announcements were made by Rich Gentry, executive vice president, Merchandising and the company's founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Thomas Stemberg at the company's annual global sales meeting and vendor show in Orlando, Fla.

"I am very pleased to recognize those vendors who work with us to deliver on our corporate mission: to slash the cost and hassle of running an office," said Gentry. "These award winners represent the very best in companies that provide the highest quality products, the best value, excellent service to our customers, and training and field marketing support to our company."

The Product of the Year Awards are given to companies whose products have generated the highest sales, in either units or dollars, in their categories. The 1998 winners are:

-- Dragon Systems for Naturally Speaking Preferred, a product that replaces the keyboard and mouse with the human voice. Dragon Systems launched the new technology with Staples.

-- 3Com Palm Computing for the Palm Pilot III, a handheld PC that catapulted the growth of this category.

-- Microsoft Corporation's Windows 98, the most exciting product launch Staples has seen since Windows 95, which sold more than 25,000 units in the first twenty-four hours of its availability.

-- Charleswood, a Dorel Company, for its Corner Workcenter Desk, an innovative furniture product that provides space efficiency, functionality and an exceptional value.

-- Nokia Mobile Phones, Inc., for its 6100 Series Wireless Phone, the first in its category to blend user-friendly functionality with ergonomic design.

The Thomas G. Stemberg Award is the highest single award given to a Staples vendor. This award is given to a company that has been a true partner with Staples, has embraced the company's vision and is committed to making the company first in the industry by driving the business, serving customers and supporting its stores.

This year the award went to Avery Dennison, a company that continues to drive core categories at Staples and does a great job in working closely with Staples merchants to design a customer-focused retail program.

Staples recognized five Vendors of the Year who showed exceptional commitment to driving Staples' business through creative programs, timely or special exclusive purchases and marketing support. The winners this year are: Sanford, Belkin Components, Intuit, Vtech Communications and Global Industries, Incorporated.

The Best Category Development Award is given to the company with exceptional commitment to new and innovative product introductions that expanded Staples' business and growth. The winners are: Acco USA, Inc., for innovative product offerings and promotional displays in the desktop stapling category; Adams Business Forms, for invigorating its product assortment and driving sales in the legal forms category; Compaq Computer Corporation, for its innovative configure-to-order system in the computers category; Symantec Corporation, for its new technology products geared to the small business customer in the software utilities category; and My Software Company, for working with Staples to develop packaging, artwork, titles, pricing and promotions in the vertical business software programs category.

The Outstanding Logistics Award was given to the Hewlett Packard Company for its on-time delivery, including substantial reductions in inventory levels and improving inventory turn.

The Service Level Excellence Award was given to Paper Manufacturers, PM Company for its excellence in inventory management and customer service resulting in no back-orders and no out-of-stocks.

The Back to School Category Award, recognizing Staples' strongest selling season, was given to both the Bic Corporation for its innovative new products and promotions and Mead for its superior planning, execution and response time.

The Best U.S. Store Operations Support Award is a new category this year and recognizes companies who provide excellent service to stores. This award went to the Hewlett Packard Company for its high level of service and participation at store events and its logistics initiatives both inbound and outbound.

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, and technology to consumers and businesses from those based at home 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 940 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. Additional information can be found at www.staples.com.

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     CONTACT: Staples Inc.
              Christina Erridge, (508) 253-7375
              christina.erridge@staples.com

     KEYWORD: MASSACHUSETTS
     INDUSTRY KEYWORD: RETAIL