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News Release Launches E-Commerce Affiliate Program
    Business/Technology Editors

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 19, 1999--

    ...Web Site Owners To Earn Top Dollar For Customer Referrals...

    Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced an e-commerce affiliate program that gives Web site owners the opportunity to earn a commission in exchange for customer referrals to via a link from their sites.

"Office supplies, similar to books and music, are frequently purchased items that sell extremely well over the Internet," said Jeff Levitan, senior vice president of "By becoming a affiliate, Web site owners can deliver additional value to their visitors while they earn cash. This program will generate even more visibility for across the Internet community while rewarding Web site owners for their support."

At, Web site owners can join the affiliate program and obtain detailed information and instructions on how to place a direct link to the office supplies site from their home page. Affiliates have the opportunity to earn a commission of up to $15 for every new customer generated from their sites. In addition, affiliates will earn credit towards purchases at Staples by referring existing and repeat customers that link to through their sites. Those store credits will be redeemable through any Staples sales channel, including online, retail superstores and catalog. also has signed an agreement with Be Free, Inc., a leading provider of online affiliate sales channel technology, services and knowledge. Be Free will help increase site traffic and sales by identifying potential affiliates and strategically marketing its program to relevant Web sites.

Last month, Staples announced a strategic marketing agreement with number one Web community, GeoCities, which included participation in the portal's affiliate program. was among the most requested links by the more than 19 million GeoCities site owners.

For questions on becoming an affiliate, e-mail


Launched in the fall of 1998, is Staples' e-commerce business unit that serves the home office and small business customer via the Internet. The virtual store offers easy-to-use, customized features and intuitive functions to slash the cost and hassle out of purchasing office supplies. More than 6,000 office supply products are available on and it is open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers receive free delivery on all orders over $50 and next business day delivery is available in most U.S. markets.

About Staples

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 over 44,000 employees serving customers through more than 960 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at


     CONTACT: Staples Inc.
              Shannon Lapierre, 508-253-8468
              Corporate Ink
              Mary Jane Mortell, 617-969-9192