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Staples Inc. Enters India Through Joint Venture with Pantaloon Retail Limited

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Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) announced today a joint venture with India’s leading retailer, Pantaloon Retail Limited, and its new office products business unit, Future Office. The agreement establishes a platform for Staples to enter the $10 billion office products market in India and allows Pantaloon to benefit from the industry expertise and sourcing network of the world’s largest office products company.

“As Staples expands globally, India represents a great opportunity for the company,” said Ron Sargent, Staples chairman and chief executive officer. “This partnership combines Pantaloon’s local business knowledge and leading brand with Staples’ best practices and global procurement strength. Staples looks forward to working with the Pantaloon team on this joint venture.”

“The office products business in India presents tremendous opportunities for growth,” said Kishore Biyani, Pantaloon Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Through our partnership with Staples, the industry leader, we can become the office products provider of choice for businesses throughout India.”

Staples Future Office will serve businesses of all sizes through delivery as well as cash-and-carry locations, offering a wide range of office products from core office supplies to printers to computers. Future Office, which recently acquired B-to-B online office products company Officedge, will expand its delivery operations to include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore and Chandigarh.

About Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited

Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, the flagship company of the Future Group, is a leading retailer with sales of more than Rs. 20.00 billion (USD 450 Million) for the financial year 2005-2006. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company caters to ‘Lifestyle’ and ‘Value’ segments across multiple store formats and lines of business, including fashion, food, general merchandise, home, leisure and entertainment, financial services, communications and wellness. The company has stores in over 30 cities across the country, constituting close to four million square feet of retail space. The ‘Lifestyle’ segment is primarily served through its 24 Pantaloons Stores and 4 Central Malls, and the ‘Value’ segment through its 42 Big Bazaar hypermarkets, 61 Food Bazaars and six Fashion Stations.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world’s largest office products company. With 69,000 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 2005 sales of $16.1 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 22 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates more than 1,800 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses.

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