|Staples' 'Desk Apprentice' Becomes Reality|
|The Winning Product from NBC's 'The Apprentice' to Hit Shelves Today|
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., April 21, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The newest reality television winner is now ready to organize your desk. Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) has announced that the winning product design seen during last night's episode of NBC's "The Apprentice" will be sold exclusively at Staples stores and on Staples.com starting today.
The nationwide launch of "The Staples Desk Apprentice(TM)" is the first time a retailer has manufactured a product created by "The Apprentice" candidates and made it available to consumers immediately after a new episode airs. For $34.99, consumers can purchase "The Desk Apprentice" at Staples stores nationwide and on Staples.com.
Designed by Team Magna consisting of Craig, Kendra and Tana, Donald Trump praised "The Desk Apprentice" model during the show for its efficient consolidation of school and office supply storage. With a 360-degree swivel base, "The Desk Apprentice" has custom-made storage areas for nearly every supply imaginable, making the workspace more efficient. Hanging file folders, scissors, staplers and notepads are among the many office supply items that can be stored in the uniquely designed compartments of "The Desk Apprentice."
"The Desk Apprentice offers a creative solution for organizing home and office areas so we're pleased to add it to our growing collection of innovative Staples brand products," said Shira Goodman, executive vice president of marketing for Staples. "This is just one more way we are bringing to life our commitment to make it easy for our customers."
In the episode that aired on Thursday, Trump stressed to the candidates the importance of being organized in business and then set them to work on the challenge of creating an office item to keep people organized. Teams then conducted research, created product prototypes, and presented their ideas to a panel of office managers. "The Desk Apprentice" design was picked as the favorite by Goodman and Demos Parneros, Staples president, U.S. stores, based on the feedback from the panel. The loss for Team Net Worth resulted in having Bren dismissed from the show.
The Apprentice task was created to parallel Staples Invention Quest contest, which gives would-be inventers a chance to develop a Staples office product that will make work easier. Staples launched this year's Invention Quest on April 19th and will pay the grand-prize winner $25,000 plus the opportunity to earn royalties if Staples decides to bring the winning innovative product to store shelves as a Staples brand product. Consumers can visit http://www.staples.com/IQ for details.
"The Desk Apprentice" will be available for purchase in select Staples retail locations today and in all U.S. Staples stores by early next week. Additionally, as of 10:00 p.m. EST last night, Apprentice fans could order "The Desk Apprentice" on Staples.com.
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 http://www.staples.com.
About Staples Brands
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 technology accessories. All Staples products undergo an intense independent laboratory quality-testing program and are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.
SOURCE Staples, Inc.
Karen O'Neil, Staples, +1-508-253-7375, Karen.ONeil@Staples.com; Melissa Woodbury, Alan Taylor Communications, +1-212- 714-1280 x241, Melissa@alantaylor.com