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The Staples State of Holiday Gift-Giving Survey Uncovers America’s Habit of Boring and Predictable Gift-Giving

The “Department of Unexpected Gifts” Campaign Against Mediocre Gift-Giving

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 8:56 am EST

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Our survey results reinforce that Americans have fallen into a gift-giving rut"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When it comes to holiday shopping, too many gift-givers stick with the conventional, according to the Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) State of Holiday Gift-Giving Survey conducted by Synovate. Half (50 percent) of survey respondents say that holiday gift-giving has become boring and expected. A staggering 87 percent anticipate receiving an expected or traditional gift this holiday season, while more than three-fourths (80 percent) of survey respondents confess that they are likely to give a traditional gift.

Furthermore, nearly all (90 percent) of the respondents reported feeling some level of stress while doing their holiday shopping. What’s bringing on the stress? The survey revealed the most disliked aspects of holiday shopping are dealing with the crowds (41 percent) and the cost of gift purchases (25 percent).

Office Gift-Giving

Holiday gift-giving often extends beyond friends and family. Nearly half (42 percent) of respondents are planning to buy between one to five gifts for co-workers this year. Colleague gift-giving requires extra time and effort during an already busy time of year, so it is no wonder that 32 percent of those in Staples’ survey are thinking of selecting the same office gift as in previous years, and that more than half (57 percent) agree that office gift-giving has become boring or expected.

“Our survey results reinforce that Americans have fallen into a gift-giving rut,” said Shira Goodman, Staples Executive Vice President of Marketing. “This year, Staples infuses excitement into holiday gift-giving with the ‘Department of Unexpected Gifts,’ which makes it easy and fun to select just the right present for everyone.”

The Antidote to Ho-Hum Gift-Giving

Staples formed the “Department of Unexpected Gifts” to help prevent the practice of mediocre holiday gift-giving. Led by legendary singer and pop-culture icon Engelbert Humperdinck, this “elite” team of quirky, gift-giving experts includes: Mr. Nibbles, Taste Maker, Holiday Dancer, Sweater Lady and Artic Nomad. The Department has put its seal of approval on 150 unexpected gifts that can be found throughout the store and online at www.staples.com/holiday, all designed to help shoppers select something unexpected for everyone on their list. Unexpected items available at Staples include:

  • The sleek and compact Staples MAILMATE(TM) Shredder is powerful enough to shred 10 folded paper sheets, CDs, DVDs, credit cards, staples and small paper clips. It's designed to fit right on the kitchen counter where most people open their mail. This is for all the people on your list who hate junk mail. ($49.99 after Staples Easy Rebate®)
  • The Canon® PowerShot A540 Digital Camera captures pictures and video in full color with 6.0 megapixels, a 2.5” LCD screen, 4x optical zoom and 21 shooting modes. Great for a wife who “says she doesn’t need a thing.” ($199.98)
  • The Staples Easy Button now comes in a decorative gift box for the holidays with room for a gift card. Best of all, Staples Foundation for Learning will donate proceeds, up to $1 million, to the Boys & Girls Club of America. ($4.99)

The Staples State of Holiday Gift-Giving Survey

The Staples State of Holiday Gift-Giving Survey results are based on the responses of 1,008 consumers ages 18 and over. The survey was conducted by Synovate during November 2006. Additional survey data is available upon request.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 69,000 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 2005 sales of $16.1 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 1,800 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at www.staples.com.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Michelle Young, 312-988-2294
myoung@webershandwick.com
or
Deborah Hohler, 508-253-8509
deborah.hohler@staples.com

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