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Theo van Brandenburg Promoted to President of Staples European Retail Business
Leader of Staples' Office Centre Netherlands Selected to Drive Profitable Retail Sales Growth Across Europe

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Aug 5, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced the promotion of Theo van Brandenburg to President of Staples European Retail business. In his new role, van Brandenburg will be responsible for leading the growth of Staples retail business in Europe and will maintain responsibility as the managing director of Staples' Office Centre Netherlands (OCN). Additionally, he will work closely with Staples European Catalog to maximize opportunities between the two European business units.

In 1990, van Brandenburg co-founded the highly profitable Office Centre cash and carry concept serving small businesses. In 1999, van Brandenburg joined Staples when the company acquired OCN from Metro/Makro and he led Staples' expansion in the Netherlands, nearly doubling the store base. He has more than 30 years of both management and merchandising experience in the supermarket and specialty retail industries.

"Theo's combination of entrepreneurial qualities, proven leadership and strong track record, make him uniquely qualified to drive our European growth," said Ron Sargent, Staples president and CEO. "He will focus on driving profitability and growth in our European retail business- key elements of our Back to Brighton strategy."

In the first quarter of 2003, Staples European revenues were $385 million, an increase of 87 percent versus the first quarter of the prior year. In 2002, Staples achieved $1 billion in sales in Europe for the year. The company currently operates 188 stores in Europe and a delivery business in seven countries. This year, Staples plans to open 15-20 stores in the UK, Netherlands and Portugal and plans a retail entry in Belgium.

van Brandenburg replaces Jacques Levy who is leaving the company to pursue an opportunity at Sephora Europe.

About Staples

Staples, Inc., an $11.6 billion retailer headquartered outside of Boston, sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes - from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.

Deborah Hohler, 508/253-8509
Paul Capelli, 508/253-8530