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America Wants the SpindleRack! Staples® Invention Quest™ Unveils the Next Great Office Product

Harleysville, Pa., Inventor Wins $25,000 and May Have Her Product Created and Sold by Staples

NEW YORK, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Have you ever been at your desk wishing for a new office product? Your wish may soon come true. Today, Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) crowned the "SpindleRack" winner of its Invention Quest search for the next great office product. Thousands of Americans and a panel of judges selected Sarah Pantaleo's CD organization and space-saving device. The Harleysville, Pa., inventor walked away from the Staples Invention Quest finals event in Times Squares Studio in New York City $25,000 richer. She also will earn royalties if the SpindleRack is created and sold exclusively by Staples in its more than 1,200 stores across the United States and on Staples.com.

"The competition was intense, but being part of Staples Invention Quest has been inspirational," said Pantaleo. "It's exciting to see the SpindleRack be recognized and it's amazing to think that it may be on Staples' shelves one day soon."

An expert panel of judges, along with more than 12,000 online votes cast by America, decided which of the 10 Invention Quest finalists received the grand prize. A $5,000 cash prize was awarded to each of the nine finalists.

"People shop at Staples because of all the products we have to make the office easier," said Mike Miles, chief operating officer of Staples. "Invention Quest gives our customers the opportunity to make their own office product innovation come to life. In fact, last year's winning product, the WordLock, is now our best selling lock."

The SpindleRack was chosen from more than 13,700 ideas for new office products submitted to Staples Invention Quest™. In addition to the SpindleRack, runners up included CardCues and the Easy Disc Folder. Other ideas ranged from a Notebook Binder Clip, an easy way to hold presentations and other documents in a binder without the need for punching holes or staples, to the uNote, a device that allows users to easily communicate by recording short voice messages.

"Staples Invention Quest gives hope to the everyday inventor and helps them understand the steps it takes to bring new product ideas to life," said Kendra Todd, Staples Invention Quest judge and winner of last season's The Apprentice. "I was amazed and inspired by Sarah's SpindleRack along with the other unique ideas that everyone had."

Judges for the Staples Invention Quest™ finals also included Art Fry, inventor of the Post-it® Note; Andy Gibbs, author and inventor; Mickey Ackerman, head of the Rhode Island School of Design Industrial Design Department in Providence, Rhode Island; Mike Miles, chief operating officer of Staples; Jevin Eagle, senior vice president of Staples Brands; and America via votes cast at http://www.staples.com/iq.

Staples Invention Quest was created to make it easy to share new product ideas with the company. In fact, four products from last year's Invention Quest are now in stores and online. The world's leading retailer of office products, Staples is continuously searching for innovative office products to add to its growing line of Staples brand products and aims to become the leading office products brand. Staples Invention Quest is one way the company finds new innovations exclusive to Staples.

About Staples Brand Products

Staples is committed to finding new office product innovations to bring its customers the best new products -- and an easier workday. Staples offers more than 1,000 quality Staples brand office products in stores, Staples.com and through catalogs. Products range from ink and toner to paper, filing systems and technology accessories. All Staples products undergo an intense independent laboratory quality-testing program and are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 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 2004 sales of $14.4 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 approximately 1,716 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 Info

Deborah Hohler, Deborah.Hohler@staples.com
508-253-8509

Ross Jacobs, Ross.Jacobs@ketchum.com
404-879-9155

Related Links

www.staples.com
www.staples.com/IQ
2004 IQ Products Facts Sheet
Interesting Facts on Office Products
IQ Contest Fact Sheet
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Press Materials
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