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Staples, Inc. To Purchase Globus Office World plc In The United Kingdom

Friday, March 26, 2004 7:00 am EST

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"With this acquisition Staples gains Office World's talented associates and great retail locations increasing our ability to serve customers more conveniently and with lower costs."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced today that it plans to purchase the United Kingdom office products company Globus Office World plc from the Swiss-based Globus-Group (Magazine zum Globus) for 32.5 million pounds. Based outside of London, Globus Office World plc operates 59 stores.

"The office products market in the United Kingdom has tremendous opportunities for growth," said Theo Van Brandenburg, President, Staples European Retail. "With this acquisition Staples gains Office World's talented associates and great retail locations increasing our ability to serve customers more conveniently and with lower costs."

The transaction will be reviewed by the Office of Fair Trade in the United Kingdom.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2003 sales of $13.2 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Approximately 60,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes -- from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with nearly 1,600 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at www.staples.com. Staples European Retail is the European retail division of Staples Inc. and is headquartered in Brussels. Visit Staples European Retail at www.staples.de, staples.co.uk, www.officecentre.nl, www.staplesofficecentre.pt and www.officecentre.be.

Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: our market is highly competitive and we may not continue to compete successfully; we may be unable to continue to open new stores successfully; our growth may continue to strain operations, which could adversely affect our business and financial results; our operating results may be impacted by changes in the economy; our stock price may fluctuate based on market expectations; our quarterly operating results are subject to significant fluctuation and are impacted by the extent to which sales in new stores result in the loss of sales in existing stores, the mix of products sold, pricing actions of competitors, the level of advertising and promotional expenses and seasonality; our expanding international operations expose us to the unique risks inherent in foreign operations; our debt level and operating lease commitments could impact our ability to obtain future financing and continue our growth strategy; a California wage and hour class action lawsuit; and those other factors discussed in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 31, 2004, and any subsequent periodic reports filed by us with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change.

Contact:

Media Contacts:
Staples, Inc.
Paul Capelli, 508-253-8530
or
PR Force
Liesbeth Rogers, 32-2-713-0901
or
Investor Contact:
Staples, Inc.
Laurel Lefebvre/Katy Nash
508-253-4080/7342

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