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News Release

Staples Retail Stores Open For Business In Chicagoland

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 2005--

Mavis Staples Welcomes Company To Chicago; Bears and Cubs Deals Announced at Preview Party Honoring Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq:SPLS), the world's largest office products company, will be welcomed to Chicago tonight by who else -- legendary blues artist Mavis Staples.

The recent Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner will entertain Chicago business leaders and community officials when Staples previews its new store in the historic Garland building at Washington Street and Wabash Boulevard. Celebrations continue throughout the week at stores in Schaumburg, Mundelein and Tinley Park and culminate with all eight new Staples stores hosting daylong grand opening celebrations this Saturday, March 12 -- with one-time offers such as Bic(R) pens for a penny; a ream of Staples paper for 94 cents; a 128MB travel storage device for $3.94; and a $29.98 all-in-one machine. The new stores, which also include locations at North and Cicero, Elston and Fullerton, Elk Grove Village and Villa Park, are the first of more than 20 that will open throughout Chicagoland in 2005.

"Our message to Chicago business is 'we are here to make it easy,' said Mike Miles, chief operating officer for Staples. "The time is right for a market leader like Staples to bring Chicago's thriving small business community and home office consumers a new and innovative shopping experience."

Staples expects to add more than 1,000 new jobs across Chicagoland as the company builds out its retail and delivery operations. Chicagoland residents will be the first in the country to shop at Staples stores that feature a convergence of numerous design and service enhancements to the company's signature 20,000 square foot Dover design.

For the first time, Staples stores will feature free WiFi access, the ability to submit copy orders via email, and Easy Mobile Technicians to make house calls and office visits. Staples Easy Rebates, which puts the entire rebate process on-line; free delivery on all orders from and Staples catalog; and, a full-service UPS ship center round-out the portfolio of services designed to make the shopping experience easy.

Staples was the first in the office products industry to offer an Ink & Toner Cartridge Guarantee - promising ink and toner cartridges will be in stock in stores, Staples catalog or online. Chicagoland stores also feature kiosks to provide direct access to additional product SKUs and product-specific information, allowing customers to make online purchases in the store with free delivery.

Staples retail stores carry thousands of brand name office products, as well as high quality Staples branded products. Staples Copy & Print Centers are full service centers offering standard, commercial-grade, high-speed, color copying and self-serving copiers. Customers can also take advantage of additional savings with the Staples Rewards Card, which tracks in-store, catalog and online purchases and provides quarterly Rewards Checks.

"Chicago has a robust small business community and a five billion dollar office products market," added Miles. "We think offering our customers the convenience of shopping by phone or on the Internet with free delivery -- and now via stores, provides the flexibility and convenience that will help make shopping easy."

Staples and the Community

At the company's Preview Party tonight, Staples will announce a $25,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago to enhance the Power Hour after school study program. Miles will unveil the winning artwork from the "What Chicago Means to Me" art contest, which will be featured on commemorative grand opening canvas tote bags. The store at 111 North Wabash will also be dedicated to Dr. Christopher Reed, a professor of history at Roosevelt University and a tireless advocate for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys & Girls Club for the last thirty years.

Every Staples store will team up with a charitable organization in their neighborhood and each store will be dedicated to a community hero.

Other charitable organizations that Staples stores will support include:

  • Reading in Motion (North and Cicero location)

  • Jobs for Youth Chicago (Elston and Fullerton location)

  • The Giving Trust (Schaumburg location)

  • OMNI Youth Services (Mundelein location)

  • Earth Force (Tinley Park location)

  • Community Character Coalition (Elk Grove Village location)

  • Character Coalition (Villa Park location)

"We are acutely aware that our future success in Chicago is directly linked to the well being of the communities we serve. So we aren't simply opening stores in Chicago, we are forging meaningful relationships," added Miles.

Staples Announces Bears and Cubs Sponsorship

Staples' Chicago debut also includes an announcement of a multi-year Hall of Fame partnership with the Chicago Bears. The Hall of Fame partnership is the highest level Bears sponsorship available and includes exclusivity in the office products category.

Staples will receive prominent positioning within Soldier Field, including exclusive sponsorship of the mezzanine level of the stadium and the Bears Ring of Honor. Staples will also become the title sponsor of Bears Training Camp.

Staples has also reached a sponsorship agreement with the Chicago Cubs which includes tickets and signage at Wrigley Field.

Staples' portfolio of retail locations will supplement the company's existing contract and delivery business providing Chicagoans with three ways to shop. Staples currently has more than 10,000 active delivery customers in Chicago, many of whom are Fortune 1000 companies that have been purchasing office products from the company since 1993.

For all Chicago Staples locations and to learn more about Staples, or the opening weekend activities, visit

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 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 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,680 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Karen O'Neil, 508-404-8817
Weber Shandwick
Jerry Gleason, 312-988-2277

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.