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Staples to Open Airport Stores; Philadelphia International Airport Store Will Combine Three Ways to Shop Business Editors

Thursday, August 19, 1999 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.
"We are taking advantage of the rapidly-expanding airport retail environment to add a new dimension to our store base and to reach our business customers in another unique way"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. today announced its plans for a new airport retail store concept with the first store to open at the Philadelphia International Airport in September. This entirely new store concept will offer travelers three ways to shop: traditional retail, a kiosk linked to Staples.com and a direct phone line to Staples catalog representatives. Two additional Staples airport stores are planned to open by the end of the year.

"The airport store is the latest way Staples will provide customers with hassle-free shopping to help them keep up with their business while on the road, especially for last-minute supplies or services they need prior to reaching their final destination," said Jim Peters, president of U.S. Stores, Staples. "This new concept offers three sales channels we have never combined in our retail stores before, which we believe will be particularly appealing to business travelers."

The 1,500 square foot airport store at Philadelphia International Airport's Concourse B will carry a varied selection of merchandise suited to the needs of the business traveler including small pack sizes of paper and file folders, organizers, presentation materials, general office supplies, travel supplies, luggage and small electronics such as hand held organizers and calculators. Customers will also be able to buy build-to-order computers. Self-service copying and faxing will also be offered and are expected to be popular services for business travelers.

For customers who want to order supplies and have them delivered to their final travel - more - destination, home or office, a Staples.com kiosk and a specially-marked telephone linked to Staples catalog operators will be available for those purchases.

"We are taking advantage of the rapidly-expanding airport retail environment to add a new dimension to our store base and to reach our business customers in another unique way," said Joe Vassalluzzo, president, Staples Realty and Development. "With the thousands of passengers traveling through this airport per day, we are confident that we will drive a considerable number of new and existing customers through this store."

"Staples has demonstrated a unique understanding of the needs and shopping patterns of airport passengers," said Robert Weinberg, chairman of MarketPlace Development, the firm partnered with Redwood Advisory of Philadelphia to develop and manage the airport's retail redevelopment for the City of Philadelphia. "Staples is an ideal match for the needs of the 24.2 million passengers who travel through Philadelphia International Airport each year - 50 percent of whom are business travelers."

Staples Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses 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 44,000 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.

Contact:

Staples
Christina Erridge
(508) 253-7375
christina.erridge@staples.com

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