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Staples Brand Inks Proven In Independent Tests To Offer Same Quality As National Brand Counterparts
The Rochester Institute of Technology's Independent Testing Verifies that Consumers Receive National Brand Quality From Staples Brand Replacement Ink Cartridges

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Nov 9, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced findings by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) that Staples brand new and remanufactured inkjet cartridges perform equal to their brand-name counterparts at a better price. The tests were conducted by the university's leading Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies on popular cartridges available in the market.

The 22-step tests were conducted using new Staples cartridges engineered to work with the most popular Epson and Canon printers, as well as remanufactured cartridges for Hewlett-Packard models. Whether cartridges were new or remanufactured, the study concluded Staples' supplies compete head-to-head with original equipment manufacturers' supplies. Staples cartridges were shown to be as good as brand-name products even when factoring in the criteria most important to today's discerning consumers - including text, graphics and photo quality as well as cost-per-page.

"Staples has shown commitment to quality for all Staples brand products," said Andrij Harlan, industrial programs manager for the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Through our continuous quality monitoring program, we evaluate and provide feedback on all Staples branded products to make sure that each product meets our highest standards of quality measurement."

Every Staples brand product is tested throughout its lifecycle to ensure its quality is equal to national brands. To put Staples inkjet cartridges to the test, Staples enlisted the help of RIT to conduct an ongoing 22-step testing procedure to verify that Staples brand products are of highest possible quality. The testing process includes page yield, fill weight, cartridge integrity (electrical and mechanical function), dry time, optical density, mottle (fluctuation of density within a solid area of color) and color gamut (the entire range of perceived color that can be obtained).

"To ensure consistent quality so that our products are among the best in the industry, we sought out the expertise at the Rochester Institute of Technology," said Jevin Eagle, senior vice president of Staples brand group. "Our customers can save up to twenty percent on annual office supply purchases using Staples brands, while getting national brand quality."

"Staples is meeting the need for high-quality alternatives to more costly original manufacturer printer supplies," said Jim Forrest Managing Editor of Lyra Research's Hard Copy Supplies Journal. "The company is putting serious time, effort and research into offering its own branded printer supplies products that perform on par with brand name competitors."

Staples offers its customers more than 1,000 Staples brand office products in stores, Staples.com and through catalogs. Products range from ink and toner to paper, filing systems and furniture. Staples' intense third-party quality-testing program and benchmarking of product performance ensure Staples' products are equal to or better than national brands.

About the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology

The Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS) at Rochester Institute of Technology was established in 1992 with a mission to increase the competitiveness of manufacturers through applied technology and training. CIMS represents a dynamic collaboration of in-house technical experts, as well as academic, industry and government resources. Located on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, their unique, world-class facility houses three centers, four major programs, and an all-encompassing training program. CIMS provides technology and workforce development solutions that strengthen their clients' ability to compete in the global marketplace.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products retailer. With 60,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2003 sales of $13 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 19 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,600 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at www.staples.com.

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SOURCE: Staples, Inc.

Staples, Inc.
Julie Mittelman, 508-253-8580
julie.mittelman@staples.com
or
Weber Shandwick
Andy Rohr, 617-520-7030
Arohr@webershandwick.com