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FEATURE/Staples Announces 'Top Ten' for Back to School; Translucents, Milky Products, and Glitter Gear Highlight New Products List

Thursday, August 10, 2000 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"is on everything from furniture to notebooks."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Grape Ice. Strawberry Freeze. Blueberry Frost. These aren't the latest Popsicle flavors, but the hot new translucent colors topping students' "must have" list for Back-to-School 2000.

"Translucents are this year's big trend," says Kathy Overton, buyer at Staples. "Frosted colors appeal to tech-savvy kids who want their school supplies and their school rooms to make a 21st Century fashion statement. Students can pair the new translucent items with traditional school products, while the college crowd can decorate a dorm room with translucent lamps, bookends, and phones. Bright colors are hot this year and the "translucent look" is on everything from furniture to notebooks."

Here is a "Top Ten" preview of what will be hot in the hallways this September according to the experts from Staples.

1. Clearly popular. Translucent colors are the hottest trend on most school supplies this year. Everything from chairs and lamps to pens, notebooks and three ring binders can be found in a variety of translucent shades. Translucent trends for Back-to-School 2000 include Spaceworks space crates by Tamor; bold new V-Tech phones; translucent violet desk lamps by Tensor; a wide array of Basix translucent desk accessories by Tenex; and translucent chairs, floor mats, computer keyboards, computer mouses, shredders, calculators, staplers, tape dispensers and pens.

2. Got Milky(TM)? Exclusive to Staples is the Milky Lunar(TM) gel pen! Creamy pastel scribbles are now visible on both dark and light paper. What better way to get the new Milky gels than in a special milk-bottle (10 pens for $8.98). Not just limited to paper, Milky pens can also be used to write notes on black lunch bags, pencil pouches and zipper binders by American Studio or on new black portfolios and indexes by Duo-Tang.

3. Tape-On-The-Go. Scotch(R) Pop-Up Tape key chains are now available for students in easy-to-use, boldly colored transparent dispensers. Loaded with 75 pre-cut tape strips, they make a colorful key-chain statement and are portable for home or school projects.

4. Ergonomic Solutions. Working on computers and sitting at desks all day, kids will love the new backrests, arm rests and computer glare guards, just a few of the latest ergonomic accessories available. Jansport's backpacks have new ergonomic features, such as padded backs and s-curve straps to help with the students' heavy loads. Retailing between $19.99 - $39.99, the backpacks are available in a variety of colors.

5. All that Glitters. Glitter accessories such as pens, pencils and book covers add sparkling fashion and fun to the schoolroom. Pentel pens, in metallic colors and PenTech glitter-dipped pencils make a cool contrast on dark and pastel paper. New metallic markers from Dri-Mark(R) ($4.98), Manco's holographic bookcovers and Gelly Roll(TM) sparkling glitter pens paired with a new refillable journal are sure to spark up the back-to-school scene. Also available is an assortment of 20 metallic and pastel gel pens by GlimmerGel for $12.99.

6. Pens That Make Scents. Building on the on-going gel craze, Uni-ball has introduced new Gellyz(TM)Scents! These new gel pens will bring an assortment of fruity scents into the classroom, such as strawberry and grape (5 for $5.98).

7. Scuba "Do!" Daytimer's new WetSuit(R)organizers are worthy of a deep-sea diver! These organizers, available in fresh colors like orange and lime-green, are covered in a very durable and water-resistant fabric. They make a bold statement, rain or shine. ($17.98).

8. Small Talk. Students interested in cell phones, pagers and other wireless products will find extraordinary offers for back-to-school. Sprint's new wireless web-offer features Internet access in the palm of your hand. The Sprint Digital PCS phones begin at $99.99 and are the latest addition to a growing number of wireless phones designed to be as small and efficient as possible. The phone features a mini browser, which literally allows customers to "surf the web" through their wireless phone.

9. In-Hand Technology. On the wish list of college and high school grads alike, the Handspring Visor(TM) and Visor Deluxe(TM), hand-held organizers help students organize their busy schedules. The Visor, available in graphite ($179.00), and the Visor Deluxe, available in ice, blue, green and orange ($249.00), with expansion capabilities that will grow with every students' needs, promise to be great items this season!

10. Go Trekking. Inspired by cargo and khaki trends, the new durable and rugged messenger bags and backpacks are more fashionable than ever before! Jansport's offers new "pack-pockets" to accommodate technology products, like cell phones, pagers, laptops and handheld organizers. These new "pack-pockets" are made with Velcro attachments and clip onto messenger bags and backpacks. With colorful shades like oyster, silver, storm blue, scarlet, canvas and black, the Jansport backpacks also illustrate this new rugged trend (19.99 39.99).

Staples Inc., (NASDAQ:SPLS), is a $9 billion provider of office supplies, furniture, technology and services to consumers and businesses of all sizes in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered near Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has 50,000 employees who help customers slash the cost and hassle of running their businesses through more than 1,200 retail superstores, an e-commerce business, direct mail order operations under the brands of Staples and subsidiary Quill Corporation, and a national accounts contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

Contact:

Staples Media Relations
Vicki Hughart, 508-253-7895
vicki.hughart@staples.com

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