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Staples Honors Minority- and Women-Owned Suppliers With Scholarships

Annual Scholarship Program Marks Latest Addition to Staples Supplier Diversity Initiatives

Wednesday, July 9, 2003 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Staples is proud to provide Beth Williams and Stephen Fraga with an educational program that will contribute to their entrepreneurial development and business growth"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced that it will sponsor two executives from its minority- and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) supplier program to attend the Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, July 13-18, 2003.

In the inaugural year of this annual scholarship program, Staples will provide full tuition to MWBE supplier executives Beth Williams, president and CEO of Roxbury Technology, and Stephen Fraga, senior vice president at Tejas Office Products, Inc. Roxbury Technology and Tejas Office Products are members of Staples' supplier diversity program, which offers Staples' corporate customers the ability to access a wide selection of quality MWBE products.

"Staples is proud to provide Beth Williams and Stephen Fraga with an educational program that will contribute to their entrepreneurial development and business growth," said Jim Dorman, vice president of marketing for Staples Contract Division. "In addition to helping Staples' customers easily reach their MWBE spending goals, we are committed to mentoring our MWBE partners to help them expand their scope of services and support the needs of their customers and employees."

Tuck's Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP) teaches business owners how to develop and implement a strategic plan for survival and prosperity and how to use financial tools to perform cost analysis and implement control systems. Participants also learn how to develop effective marketing and operations strategies, manage human resources more intelligently and refine leadership skills as they strive to attain management excellence.

Staples' supplier diversity program is based on a network of highly respected MWBE office supply providers that leverages their individual strengths, providing customers with the service and scope they require from a national MWBE program. Since 1993, Staples has been committed to utilizing minority, women-owned and disadvantaged businesses in all aspects of its operations to increase business performance and stimulate economic development. Staples is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), an organization that certifies and supports minority-owned businesses and helps corporate members develop minority business development programs. To learn more about Staples diversity programs, visit www.staplescentral.com/mwbe.asp.

Founded in 1900, Tuck is the first graduate school of management and consistently ranks among the top business schools worldwide. Information about the Tuck School is available at www.tuck.dartmouth.edu.

About Staples Contract Division

Staples Contract provides office supply solutions to medium- and large-sized organizations, including many Fortune 500 companies. The business, with industry-leading double-digit growth, works collaboratively with its customers enabling procurement professionals to efficiently manage highly cost-effective custom procurement programs.

About Staples

Staples, Inc., an $11.6 billion retailer headquartered outside of Boston, sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes -- from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Owen Davis, 508/253-8468
owen.davis@staples.com
or
Nicole Fachet, 212/213-7140
nicole.fachet@mslpr.com

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