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Staples and Compucom Partner to Provide In-Store Small Business Technology and Computer Networking Products and Services

Thursday, October 29, 1998 7:00 am EST

Dateline:

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"This is the first step in a long term relationship to deliver services to a currently untapped market."

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--....Pilot Program to Begin in Select Northeast Staples office superstores in December....

Staples Inc., (NASDAQ:SPLS), the pioneer in the office supplies superstore industry, today announced a unique partnership with CompuCom Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CMPC) to offer small business technology and computer networking products and services to small business customers in select Staples stores in the Northeast starting in December.

The new in-store concept brings together the latest CompuCom business technology specially designed to meet the needs of small businesses and the convenience of Staples' office supplies superstore retail environment. The services include network design, installation, maintenance, remote network management, consulting and help desk solutions.

These new services are part of the overall Staples strategy to address the technology needs of its small business customers. Staples also will be offering a new high-speed printer assortment, web design and web e-commerce packages and exclusive business software bundles offered at OEM prices.

"Staples is the one-stop shop to meet all the needs of small business from office supplies and furniture to computer networks and services. Staples and CompuCom will provide small businesses a competitively-priced solution for networking and services," said Thomas G. Stemberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Staples. "The small business person who needs help in making the step into technology will find willing and capable partners in Staples and CompuCom."

"The last frontier in the technology business is the SOHO market. We intend to marry Staples leadership position with millions of small businesses with CompuCom's leadership position in network integration," said Ed Anderson, president and chief executive officer of CompuCom. "This is the first step in a long term relationship to deliver services to a currently untapped market."

Specially-trained Staples associates will sell these products and services at the stores and CompuCom technicians will provide the technical services directly to the customer.

The target customer for Staples' new business technology offerings is the small business with computer and computer system needs that range from a single PC to a fully built and serviced computer network for print and file sharing, Internet access and mobile computing.

"Our new technology and network services will be merchandised on an easy-to-read overhead menu board with price listings just like other services available within Staples stores, making the offerings clear for the business customer to see and buy," said Philo Pappas, senior vice president, office technology and computers for Staples. "This retail method is especially ideal for customers who might be unfamiliar with computer networking and technology and need a trusted partner to walk them through the process."

CompuCom Systems, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading provider of network integration services and distributed desktop products for large corporate customers nationwide. CompuCom's services include: LAN/WAN projects, consulting and asset tracking; network management, help desk and field engineering; procurement, configuration, distribution and software management. CompuCom is accessible via the Internet at http://www.compucom.com.

Staples is a $5 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to businesses from home-based business to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Staples, headquartered outside Boston, Mass., invented the office superstore concept and is the largest operator of office superstores in the world today. The Company has more than 32,000 employees serving business customers through more than 868 office superstores, mail order catalogs, and a contract business. More information can be obtained on the Internet at http://www.staples.com.

Contact:

Dan Kaferle
Staples Inc.
(508) 370-8635
dan.kaferle@staples.com
or
M. Lazane Smith
CompuCom Systems Inc.
(972)-856-3600
lsmith@compucom.com

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