Staples Selects MarketMAX for Web-based Multi-Channel Merchandise Planning

Direct access to IBM corporate-wide data-warehouse facilitates planning…

WAKEFIELD, Mass. - Jan. 15, 2001 - Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS), the retailer that pioneered the office products superstore concept and a thought leader in multi-channel retailing, has purchased the MarketMAX® Integrated Merchandise Planning Solution as the cornerstone for a corporate-wide merchandise planning initiative. MarketMAX Inc., the leading provider of multi-channel, collaborative merchandise planning and optimization solutions for retailers and their suppliers, will provide Staples with software and consulting services that will fundamentally change the way they plan their product assortment across their various distribution channels. Staples has nearly 1000 stores in the U.S., a well-established catalog operation, and a very successful e-commerce site ( ).

Because many of Staples’ customers shop in more than one channel, their key initiative is to provide a consistent, convenient and integrated experience across all of their channels. MarketMAX’s solution will help Staples integrate one merchandise planning process across all organizational functions and levels of management involved in the planning process, as well as across their brick and mortar, online, catalog and direct sales channels. With MarketMAX, Staples can create top-down and bottom-up financial, product assortment and vendor plans to drive improved customer loyalty, increased margins and improved inventory turns.

Staples is recognized as one of the most-forward thinking companies in retail today, especially in the area of technology innovation. Staples will gain significantly improved scalability, efficiency, collaboration and communication across its multi-channel organization with MarketMAX’s Web-based solution. In addition, Staples will use IBM’s latest DB2 data-warehouse platform (UDB EEE)* to manage the extensive amounts of data required in a sophisticated planning process. Combining the MarketMAX solution with the IBM platform will allow Staples to analyze historical performance to create fact-based financial and assortment plans without concern for scalability.

“We were searching for software that could plan across all of our stores, catalog, Internet and direct business-to-business channels,” said Kevin Holian, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Inventory Management at Staples. “We selected MarketMAX because we believe they can solve our sophisticated multi-channel planning requirements, and scale to our volumes and high connectivity demands.” Holian continued, “Given the high cost of inventory obsolescence, we must be able to plan key items down to the store level to determine the right assortment on a timely basis.”

Also key to the Staples decision is MarketMAX’s flexible Web-based architecture. “MarketMAX will leverage our latest IBM DB2 data-warehouse platform (UDB EEE). This strategy eliminates the need for us to replicate data for our planning activities and saves us from buying additional hardware. This makes the whole process more efficient,” said David Barclay Vice President of Merchandising and Supply Chain Systems. "We believe this is the first time an integrated merchandise planning solution has been deployed directly on a large-scale data warehouse.”

Commented Lori Schafer, President and CEO of MarketMAX, “Staples has always been on the forefront of retail technology innovation. They will pave the path for other retailers to implement multi-channel, integrated merchandise planning solutions on IBM’s latest DB2 data-warehouse platform (UDB EEE). We are excited about our role as the cornerstone of Staples merchandise planning initiative and we are confident our integrated solution, depth of experience in planning and strong team will help Staples reach its profit and inventory goals."

* IBM DB2 Universal Database Enterprise-Extended Edition

About Staples
Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) is a $9 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, technology and services to consumers and businesses, from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,200 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about is available at

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Staples, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-Q for the most recently ended quarter.

About MarketMAX, Inc.
MarketMAX Inc. is the leading provider and pioneer of multi-channel, collaborative merchandise planning solutions for the $6.7 trillion retail industry. MarketMAX combines thought leadership, domain expertise, innovation and the retail industry’s leading Web-based architecture with the single biggest value proposition in retail - improved margins and increased turns, a value of more than $100 billion for the domestic retail industry. The MarketMAX solution helps multi-channel retailers and their suppliers build the winning product assortments that their targeted consumers demand. It is the only merchandise planning solution that offers integration across all functions of the planning process for all levels of management and users in the organization. The data-mining, financial planning, micro-marketing, visual planning, collaboration and process improvement capabilities of the MarketMAX solution provide for more efficient, effective and collaborative decision making for retailers and suppliers. MarketMAX builds strong relationships with top retailers and suppliers by providing world-class professional consulting services. MarketMAX’s position in the market as the “best-of-breed” merchandise planning solution stems from its strong team of executives and employees with deep experience in the retail and technology industries. MarketMAX customers include, Burlington Coat Factory, Circuit City, Lowe's Companies Inc., Marks & Spencer, Paul Davril Inc., REI, Service Merchandise, ShopKo Stores, The Sports Authority, and Williams-Sonoma.

For more information, visit or call our worldwide headquarters at 781-876-3200. For European sales information, MarketMAX can be contacted at +44-116-286-7290. For Canadian sales information call 905-841-7626.


MarketMAX is a registered trademark of MarketMAX, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For further information:
Claudia Silon
MarketMAX, Inc.
781-876-3243 Sandy McLaughlin
Soucy Communications Group