National Survey Reveals More Than 40 Percent Of Adults Have New Product Ideas Awaiting Discovery

Potential Innovators Say Lack Of Money, Direction And Time Leave Great Ideas Dormant; Staples Encourages Inventors to Submit Invention Quest(TM) Product Concepts

Framingham, MA - More than 40 percent of adults have had an idea for a new product or innovation, but most never even make it to the drawing board, according to a new national survey. Survey results released today by Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: spls) reveal the most cited obstacles for bringing ideas to life are not having the money to invest (25%), not knowing where to start (23%), lack of time (22%) and thinking that the product would never make it on to store shelves (16%). "It is amazing how many great ideas for products are waiting to be discovered," said Tom Stemberg, chairman and founder of Staples. "Of survey respondents with dormant ideas, 75 percent say lack of money, time and direction are to blame. Staples' Invention Quest(TM) removes these barriers and makes it easy to innovate." To make it easy for inventors to overcome key obstacles to innovation, Staples introduced Invention Questд in September. The Invention Quest challenge is to discover the best idea for an office product that will make work life easier. Inventors have three weeks remaining to simply submit a short written description of their new product idea and compete for a $25,000 cash prize. The winner will also receive royalties if their product is manufactured and sold exclusively at Staples' 1,100 stores across the United States and at Staples.com174. The survey of 1,000 adults across the country was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Staples, Inc. between October 21 and October 23. For more information, please contact: Deborah Hohler Staples, Inc. 508.253.8509 Meara Murphy 617.937.2574 About Staples, Inc. Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2002 sales of $11.6 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 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 approximately 1,500 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 About Ipsos Public Affairs Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective public affairs research organization made up of Democratic and Republican campaign and political polling veterans. It was established in August 2001 in Washington, D.C., and is headed by veteran pollster Thomas Riehle, who has more than 15 years of experience as a political pollster in Washington. The division conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of U.S. and international organizations. Typically, the division's studies are based on opinion research, not only public opinion, but often elite stakeholder, corporate and media opinion. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research group. About Ipsos Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research group, with revenues of 538.5 million euros in 2002. It offers a full suite of research services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies in advertising, marketing, public opinion and customer loyalty research, as well as forecasting and modeling. Member companies also offer a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services. To learn more, visit: Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris Premier Marchй, and is part of the SBF 120 and Next Prime Indices as well as eligible to the Deferred Settlement System (SRD). Euroclear code 7329, Reuters ISOS.LN, Bloomberg IPS FP

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