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Staples Inc. is an office retail company based in the United States. It sells office supplies through business-to-business delivery operations and retail channels. The company has 304 stores in Canada and 1,255 stores in the U.S.

It generates annual revenues of about $9.8 billion every year. Products include business technology, paper, ink and toner, and office furniture. 


Staples was started by Thomas G. Stemberg and Leo Kahn in 1986. The two had been rivals in the retail supermarket industry in New England. They put up their first store in Brighton, Boston. 

Staples received finance from private equity firms such as Bain Capital. Mitt Romney, the co-founder of Bain, even served on the board of directors at Staples for 15 years. He helped shape the company’s business model. 

Staples opened its first stores in Canada under a subsidiary called The Business Depot in 1991. After the first 10 years, the stores were all renamed to Staples. Soon after branching into Canada, the company set out to Europe and Britain. 

Its sales surpassed $3 billion in 1996 and it became a Fortune 500 company while celebrating its tenth anniversary. It bought rights to Staples Center in LA in 1998. In the same year, it also bought Quill Corporation, a catalog, and online office supplies retailer. 

Staples bought Medical Arts Press in 2002 and made it a subsidiary of Quill. By 2007, the company had expanded to Denmark, Austria, and India. It then acquired Corporate Express in 2008, a Dutch company that dealt in office supplies. Staples also opened 11 stores in New England which were focused on technology and small businesses. 

In 2016, the company sold 106 of its British stores to Hilco Capital. Hilco rebranded the stores to “Office Outlet” and retained Staples’ red and white colors. Some of the stores were, however, closed in August 2018 under a voluntary agreement. 

Business Directions 

Staples provides office supplies, tech services, business machines, as well as copy and print centers for digital printing, photocopies, faxing, custom rubber stamps, custom business cards, lamination, promotional products, binding, cutting, folding, and engraved items. 

Key Facts

In its marketing, Staples used the slogan “Yeah, we’ve got that” in almost all its advertising campaigns to showcase its wide selection of office-related products. The slogan was dropped in 2003 as the company took up “That was easy” as the new slogan. Staples had used “You want it. We’ve got it” in the United Kingdom. This was also changed to “That was easy.” 

Mission and Vision

Staples’ mission is to help associates, the local community and the world make more happen every day through policies, values, and programs they can live by. This is done by making shopping for office supplies and saving easier than ever.


Why are Staples stores closing? 

Staples has been closing most of its stores in the United States in a bid to focus on online sales. The company is also working to adjust its product mix as traditional items continue to perform poorly. 

Who are Staples competitors? 

Staples competes against Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Office Depot, Target, and Walmart.

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 9:00 - 19:00
Tu 9:00 - 19:00
We 9:00 - 19:00
Th 9:00 - 19:00
Fr 9:00 - 19:00
Sa 10:00 - 17:00
Su 11:00 - 17:00

Locations: 1091 locations in 48 states and 874 cities.


  • Office Equipment & Supplies

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