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Staples Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) today announced it will lease and/or purchase space for 21 new Staples store sites in Florida and Alabama in a deal with Scotty's Home Centers of Winter Haven, Fla. The deal nearly doubles Staples' retail presence in Florida from 29 stores currently open or being constructed to 50 stores, and brings Staples to the Jacksonville and Tallahassee markets for the first time.
The deal provides Staples access to 21 premier sites in Florida and Alabama that would not have been available on a site-by-site basis. The new stores are a strategic complement to Staples' retail expansion program for the year 2000.
Under the agreement with Scotty's, Staples will lease or sublease 24,000 square feet of space in each of 14 Scotty's store locations in Florida and Alabama, take over the leases of three Scotty's store locations and purchase outright four Scotty's stores locations. Scotty's will exit the sites that are being purchased and the ones where Staples is taking over the lease entirely.
"We see this as an outstanding strategic opportunity to open Staples stores in prime real estate locations that we have always had our eye on but that have been unavailable until now," said Joe Vassalluzzo, president, Staples Realty and Development. "We are very pleased to secure these sites throughout Florida and Alabama as they will allow Staples to grow its business in new markets and bring every day low prices and great service to small businesses in these areas," said Vassalluzzo.
"We are excited to make this strategic store deal with Staples, since it allows Scotty's to reconfigure its stores to the current 35,000 sq. ft. prototype and lease or sublease its excess space and drive traffic by bringing the nation's premier office retailer right next door," said Tom Morris, Scotty's president and CEO.
"This deal constitutes a major investment in the state of Florida and the local communities where we will be developing these new stores and hiring local residents," added Vassalluzzo.
The Florida cities where Staples will be opening the new stores include Palm Bay, Tallahassee (2), Spring Hill, Melbourne, Orange Park, Jacksonville, Bayonet Point, St. Petersburg, Sebring, Plant City, Stuart, Palatka, St. Augustine, South Lakeland, Clermont, Orlando, Palm Coast, Eustis and Fernandina Beach, in addition to Mobile, Ala. Staples will begin construction next month and the new Staples stores are expected to open in the first and second quarters of next year.
Jacksonville and Tallahassee are new markets for Staples. In addition, Staples is currently in construction on six stores in the greater Orlando area to open in the first and second quarters of next year. This deal adds an additional two stores to open in this region.
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, the Netherlands, Portugal 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 46,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,000 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at www.staples.com.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Staples Inc's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report or Form 10-Q for the most recently ended quarter.