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Staples Streamlines Buying Office Supplies Online

Tuesday, November 17, 1998 7:00 am EST

Dateline:

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) has now launched STAPLES.COM (www.staples.com), an online office supply superstore that makes ordering office supplies easier than ever before and gives business customers another convenient way to purchase products.

Staples also announced it has signed an advertising and promotion agreement with Yahoo! Inc. [Nasdaq: YHOO] to become the premier office supplies merchant on Yahoo!®, the world's leading navigational guide to the Internet.

``We founded the office superstore industry 12 years ago by introducing low-priced office supplies to small businesses, first in stores, and then through mail order,'' said Thomas G. Stemberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Staples. ``We've built our business by delivering quality and convenience to our customers. Now we're bringing that philosophy and expertise online. We've created a site that makes it easy and convenient for our customers to order office supplies so they can focus on what they really care about - running their business.''

Staples applied the results of significant customer and industry research to create a site that helps take the cost and hassle out of running a small business. The Staples.com site offers the industry's first ``Online Office Manager™'' for automating routine purchases, whether it's ordering more copy paper or equipping a new office.

Staples.com delivers the ease, convenience and everyday low pricing that customers have come to expect from Staples. The site offers more than 6,000 items, next-business day delivery in most U.S. markets nationwide and free delivery for all orders over $50.

Staples Teams with Yahoo!

Yahoo! users have a fast and easy way to access and purchase Staples' extensive offering of office supplies and products. Staples.com is the premier office supplies merchant in related office supplies areas within the Yahoo! Directory and visitors can now find Staples.com in the Merchant Spotlight in the office-supplies category of Yahoo! Small Business. Staples will also be promoted through banner advertisements on relevant office supply pages and keyword search results pages in relevant business interest areas within the Yahoo! Network of properties.

``Our relationship with Yahoo! enables us to attract new customers and gives us the strategic presence we need on the Internet to connect people with the products and everyday low-pricing that they have come to expect from Staples,'' said Jeff Levitan, senior vice president, strategic planning and business development, Staples, Inc. ``The name of the e-commerce game is driving traffic and building brand loyalty. By partnering with Yahoo!, one of the most recognized and visited sites on the Web, Staples will build significant awareness of its e-commerce franchise and reach an expanded base of high-value customers.''

Site Features Streamline Ordering Process

Staples.com, the ``Online Office Manager,'' personalizes the customer's home page to streamline the most common tasks. The Top 10 features of Staples.com include:

Group Accounts, which put the power of online ordering directly at employees' desktops, and makes it easy for managers to quickly review all employee orders before they're placed.

Personalized Shopping Lists that save customers the hassle of starting a brand new list every time they shop.

Self-Activated E-mail Reminders that let customers know when its time to re-order supplies.

Favorite Aisles, which save time by bringing customers directly to their most frequently visited product categories from their personalized home page.

Past Purchase Histories that provide customers with a list of previous online purchases.

Product Spotlights that feature detailed information on selected technology products.

The Product Matchmaker, which takes the guesswork out of buying toner for printers, ribbons for typewriters and other product-specific items.

Ready-Made Lists that expedite the purchasing process.

Product Comparison Charts that give side-by-side feature and price comparisons of technology products.

A Comprehensive, Fully-Searchable Database of office supplies that allows customers to search by description, stock keeping unit (SKU), product number, brand or category.

All purchases are linked to Staples' Dividend$ Program, a small business rewards program that earns customers up to 2.5 percent on purchases and provides other money-saving coupons and benefits.

``We developed Staples.com with innovative features and functionality to address the shopping patterns, shopping preferences and operating styles of thousands of entrepreneurs and office managers,'' said J.B. Lyon, director of Staples.com. ``We know through our research that owners of small businesses consider buying office supplies a routine task that should take a minimum of time, effort and money.''

Technological Superiority and Security

The underlying technology includes Microsoft Site Server 3.0, Transaction Server and Membership Server, recognized as being among the industry's most advanced offerings for e-commerce.

Staples.com is hosted on secure servers and uses SSL technology to shield the transmission and encryption to code the message containing the credit card information.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. is a $5 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and business from home based businesses to Fortune 50 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 37,000 employees serving customers through more than 880 office superstores, mail order catalogs and contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

Yahoo! and the Yahoo! logo are registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact:

Staples Media Relations
Dan Kaferle/Christina Erridge, 508/370-8727
christina.erridge@staples.com
or
Corporate Ink
Amy Bermar/Mary Jane Mortell, 617/969-9192
amybermar@corporateink.com
mjmortell@corporateink.com

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