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Staples Survey Shows People Get More Creative With Digital; A Family of Digital Imaging Products Offered for Holiday

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 23, 2004--Digital imaging is making it easier for people of all ages to unleash their creative spirit, which makes digital cameras one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. A Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) survey reveals the most popular uses for digital images, and demonstrates that the home - not the photo lab - is where images come to life for families in the digital age.

According to the survey, 77 percent of digital camera owners print their images at home, which saves time and opens the door to a host of creative possibilities. Scrapbooking (49 percent), creating computer screen savers (43 percent), making personalized greeting cards (32 percent) and uploading to a photo sharing website (22 percent) were among the most frequently cited at-home activities.

"Consumers want immediate access to their pictures. Instant control over printing and sharing is a key advantage of digital," said Dave Figler, vice president, division merchandise manager for Staples. "Just as there are a myriad of uses for digital images, there are numerous digital cameras, photo printers and accessories at Staples to fit specific budgets and needs. The good news for consumers this year is that digital cameras have decreased in price while offering more features and better technology."

According to InfoTrends/Cap Ventures, the market for digital cameras continues to grow, with 40 percent of U.S. households expected to own a digital camera by the end of this year. Staples is taking the lead this holiday season to eliminate the guesswork of shopping for digital cameras. Already the trusted source for printers, ink and photo paper, the nation's largest office products retailer doubled its digital camera selection and created "try before you buy" in-store and virtual online product tours.

The company has also teamed up with leading manufacturers like Kodak and Olympus to create exclusive package offers with cameras, printers and accessories for first-time users. By combining an expanded selection with expertise in the complete digital imaging category, Staples makes it easy to unleash creativity for any family member on the gift list this year:

For Grandma: An entry-level digital camera for the first time digital camera user can be paired with a 4"x6" photo printer for instant prints of the grandkids to hang on the fridge. The HP M305e Digital Camera ($149.98) offers 3.2 megapixels and 3x optical zoom. It's a great choice for overall value.

For Mom: To capture the continuous stream of photo opportunities between kids' soccer games, birthday parties and family get-togethers it's important to have the right equipment. The Nikon Coolpix 4100 Digital Camera ($249.98) offers powerful features in a compact camera with 4.0 megapixels and 3x optical zoom coupled with tools to eliminate red eye and guides to help take better pictures in various modes. An extra memory card means you never miss a moment, and photo printers like the Canon CP220 4"X6" printer allow you to make your own customized photo post cards at home.

For Dad: This year the early adopter will discover higher resolution, better optics, and larger LCD screens at last year's prices. The Kodak Easyshare DX7590 Digital Camera with Dock ($499.98) offers great picture quality that can be controlled both manually and automatically, 5.0 megapixel resolution, 10x optical zoom and a large 2.2" LCD screen. For printing at home, Staples just re-introduced its own brand of photo paper which provides equal to or better quality than the national brands at a lower price point. The paper is compatible for both laser and inkjet printers and starts at around $9. The packaging has also been changed to make the shopping experience easy - products are color coded by compatible inkjet brand, with key information prominently displayed. Staples brand ink cartridges compatible with major national brands provide customers with a high quality option at a cost savings of 15-25 percent less than national brands.

For Teens: Offering portability for kids on the go, the Fujifilm Finepix A340 Digital Camera ($199.98) is a compact and sleek camera offering high resolution digital photography from 4.1 megapixels and 3x optical zoom. To protect from bumping around in a backpack, camera cases are available at Staples at prices ranging from $9.99 to $50.99.

For Young Adults: Capture party fun with a Sony Cybershot P93 camera ($299.98) with 5.1 megapixels and 3x optical zoom. Combined with a portable Sony DPP-FP30 Picture Station digital photo printer ($149.99) party goers can instantly print great quality pictures on demand that will make them the hit of any party.

For the Brother and Sister-in-Law: It's never too late for the sibling who never shared as a kid to allow everyone to see images on the 2.0" LCD screen of the Canon PowerShot SD200 Digital ELPH Camera ($299.99). This very compact, yet powerful camera offers 3.2 megapixels and 3x optical zoom and the ability to shoot in 60 fps full motion video. Tech-savvy enthusiasts should also consider the Olympus D580 Digital camera and P10 4"x6" photo printer bundle ($349 after rebate) which includes a 4 megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom and a printer offering borderless 4"x6" photos to share on the spot.

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.

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Julie Mittelman, 508-253-8580
julie.mittelman@staples.com
or
Renata Hopkins, 617-520-7259
rhopkins@webershandwick.com

SOURCE: Staples