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Staples

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Introduction

Staples, Inc. opened in 1986 as the first office supplies superstore. Today, it is the largest office products company with over 69,000 associates, 1,800 stores and $16.1 billion in sales in 2005 ("Corporate Overview"). Staples operates in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. They offer everything from office supplies to furniture, technology and business services.

History

Staples opened May 1, 1986 in Brighton, Massachusetts. It has become the largest office supply superstore with sales topping $16 billion in 2005. Staples employs over 69,000 associates trained to help with purchases of office supplies, equipment and furniture. Staples has three separate business segments: North American Retail, North American Delivery and International Operations. Below is a list of the milestones in history for Staples, Inc.

* 1991 - First Canadian store opens in Concord, Ontario

* 1992 - Enters European market

* 1994 - Acquires Business Depot

* 1998 - Launches Staples.com; Purchases Quill Corporation

* 1999 - Significant expansion in Europe including Germany, Netherlands and Portugal

* 2002 - Becomes the world's largest seller of office supplies

* 2003 - Launched Invention Quest

* 2005 - Launched Easy Button; Announced 8th 3-for-2 stock split

Vision Statement

"Staples Soul reflects out commitment to corporate responsibility. It's what moves us to embrace diversity, sustain the environment, give back to our communities, and practice sound ethics. Linking these values with our global business strategy and operations contributes to our financial success and helps us become a great employer, corporate citizen, and neighbor ("What's Staples")".

Diversity

Staples believes in showing the faces of their customers in their own workforce. Their customers are from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, ages and cultures. They believe that sharing the diversity in their associates will help the relationships with their customers.

Staples also values the experiences and thoughts of their associates. They believe that employing associates with a wide range of work experiences, they will be able to think more creatively and adapt to the changing markets. They also reward innovative thinking. They offer a contest called InventionQuest for associates where associates can create new products for Staples.

Staples is not only diverse in its employees, they also use a diverse group of suppliers. They work with minority and women owned businesses. They even created a position to manage the Diversity Supplier Program.

Environment

Staples has very good environmental initiatives. They follow the ideas of offering environmentally friendly products, recycling, energy and climate and environmental education. They offer over 2,800 office products with recycled content, including many Staples brand products ("What's Staples"). Staples also collects used ink and toner cartridges, personal electronics and rechargeable batteries to recycle. They choose to invest in energy conservation and renewal energy. Staples partners with organizations to educate associates, customers and business on the environment.

Community

Staples supports communities in many ways. They have the Staples Foundation for Learning which provides job skills and education to underprivileged youth. Staples is also a supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Ashoka, Earth Force, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Ethics

Staples believes that by setting ethical standards and a code of conduct and following them starting with top management, their associates will also follow the high ethical standards. They encourage their associates to come forward with questions or concerns without fear of retaliation. Their ethics program also holds suppliers making Staples brand products accountable. Staples offers ethics training, ongoing communication and help line resources to employees.

Goals

Staples wants to continue being the leader in the office supply business ('2005 Annual"). To do this they want to provide the best prices, selection of products and ease of shopping to its customers. They want to follow through on their Staples brand promise of we make buying office products easy. This promise was a result of customer research that showed the value customers place on an easy shopping experience. They have increased the quality of their Staples brand products, come up with a new customer service model which has been implemented in all their stores and redesigned their website so it's easier for customers to use. They have also enhanced their copy and print centers, introduced new and innovative products, offer computer repair by their mobile technicians. Staples offers an "easy rebate" program where customers can submit rebate online, eliminating the need to mail receipts.

Staples wants to also focus on improving their performance and profitability ("2005 Annual"). They have focused on their supply chain program implementing improved order fulfillment execution, including in-stock guarantees, fast checkout and perfect order programs. They have also focused on driving profitable sales growth, improving profit margins and increasing asset productivity.

Staples also wants to increase their market share ("2005 Annual"). They plan to continue growing their existing business as wells at strengthening their global presence. To do this, they intend to grow their copy and print center and enter new geographic markets. New growth ideas include putting their product in other retail outlets such as supermarkets. They have already started to do

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