Staples Marks Retail Milestone With Opening of 1,000th Store in Atlanta

Store Dedicated to The Home Depot Co-founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank; Office Retailer Enters Greater Atlanta Retail Market, Opening Eight Superstores

Thursday, August 5, 1999 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Bernie and Arthur developed a whole new channel for home improvement supplies when they launched The Home Depot in 1978"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced it is opening its 1,000th office superstore in Duluth, Ga. The store is dedicated to Atlanta-based Home Depot co-founders, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, who revolutionized home improvement by creating the warehouse retail concept.

"Bernie and Arthur developed a whole new channel for home improvement supplies when they launched The Home Depot in 1978," said Thomas G. Stemberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Staples. "They were my role models and my inspiration to bring this exciting new retail concept to office supplies and help small businesses slash the cost and hassle of running their offices. We are honored to dedicate our 1000th store to these pioneers."

The 1000th store represents a key milestone for Staples, which invented the office superstore concept when it opened its first retail location in May 1986 in Brighton, Mass. Since then, Staples has grown its focus from strictly providing office supplies at every day low prices to becoming a comprehensive provider of solutions for small business.

In addition to traditional office supplies, furniture and technology, Staples now offers payroll services, local and long distance telephone services, telecommunications services, packing and shipping services, and technology assistance, such as memory upgrades. And the company offers its products and services through a growing number of sales channels, including catalog, a contract business, and most recently, the Internet.

"We are particularly pleased that our 1,000th store is in Greater Atlanta, a new market for Staples," said Joesph S. Vassalluzzo, president of Staples Realty and Development. "Atlanta hosts a strong and vibrant small business community and is growing exponentially. Even though we already have 1,000 stores in the world, we see tremendous opportunity for expanding in U.S. communities and cities we currently are not serving and in Europe. New sales channels, such as the Internet, also create tremendous possibilities."

Currently, Staples operates 1,000 stores, including 784 stores in the U.S; 138 stores in Canada; 53 stores in the United Kingdom; and 25 stores in Germany. The company opens a new retail location approximately every 51 hours, and plans to open a total of 170 superstores worldwide in fiscal year 1999. Last year, the company opened 174 stores.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 44,000 employees serving customers through 1,000 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at www.staples.com.

Contact:

Staples Inc.
Shannon Lapierre, 508/253-8468
shannon.lapierre@staples.com


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