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News Release Drives E-commerce Initiatives With Key Internet Investors

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

Creates Advisory Board for

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today strengthened its commitment to e-commerce by partnering with several Internet-savvy investors, including General Atlantic Partners LLC, Highland Capital Partners, Greylock Management Corporation, Essex Investment Management and Summit Accelerator Partners, which have acquired Stock representing an approximately five percent interest in the business. The private placement was facilitated by online investment banking firm, Wit Capital Corporation.

In addition, the company has created an advisory board of leading Internet gurus to provide the expertise and strategic guidance to propel Staples to its goal of $1 billion in revenue and 1 million customers by 2003. Members of the board include current Staples Inc. board of directors member and chief executive officer of eBay, Meg Whitman, Bill Sahlman from Harvard Business School, Bill Grabe and Marc McMorris from General Atlantic Partners, Bob Higgins from Highland Capital Partners, and Bill Helman from Greylock Management Corporation.

"We're excited that these partners have decided to join us in our pursuit of becoming the online destination for small business," said Jeanne B. Lewis, president of "The value these partners bring to the table is unsurpassed and they have supported some of the most innovative and successful e-commerce businesses around today."

In addition to eBay, the partners have been involved with the achievements of many Internet and technology companies, including Ask Jeeves, Be Free, eToys, CMG Information Services, E*Trade Group, EXE Technologies, looksmart, MapQuest, Network Associates,, and Silverstream Software.

Staples shareholders approved the company's plans to create a separate tracking stock, Stock, to reflect the performance of its e-commerce business on November 9, 1999. Stock includes the operations of all three of the company's e-commerce sites:, and (formerly Staples Network Advantage Plus, or S.N.A.P.). Staples will offer shares of the new stock to its employees in the form of options, and may issue shares in upcoming public or private financings where appropriate.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is a $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 46,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,100 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Staples, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-Q for the most recently ended quarter.