Staples Company History Timeline


In November of 1986 the company opened its second store in Woburn, Massachusetts, another suburb of Boston.


Gupta, Udayan, Retail Start-Up Decides to Start Out Big, Wall Street Journal, May 14, 1987.

Staples began work on its 136,000-square-foot processing and distribution center in Putnam, Connecticut, in 1987.


By May of 1988 Staples had opened 16 stores, and the company s revenues had risen to 40 million.

Charm, Robert E., Thomas G. Stemberg of Staples, Inc., New England Business, May 2, 1988.

In the winter of 1988, Staples stepped up its marketing efforts by sending potential customers a special catalog, with a coupon promising a free pen and pencil set with a purchase of 10 or more.


Galanie, Mary Ann, Staples Plans to Open Four Stores Here, Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1989.

The number of Staples stores had grown to 23 by the beginning of 1989.

In mid-1989 the company slipped to second place in revenues behind Office Depot Incorporated Office Club was making a strong showing in California and retail giants Kmart and Ames were also deliberating a move into the stationery field.


Also in 1990 Staples began to buy its products overseas.


In 1991, Staples founded its Canadian subsidiary, The Business Depot, and began opening stores under that name, though over a decade later, all stores were renamed as Staples . The first store opened in Vaughan, Ontario, north of Toronto.


In June of 1992 Staples expanded into another region of the United States with the purchase of Office Mart Holdings Corporation for 3.1 million.


In 1993 Staples celebrated the opening of its 200th store, and at that time the company announced plans for an additional 130 store openings over the next two years.

Wall Street had lost confidence in the company in early 1993 after its two largest rivals embarked upon a rapid string of acquisitions, while Staples demonstrated difficulty rolling out a new line of personal computer products.


In April of 1994 Staples bought seven former Office America stores based in Virginia and began to convert them to Staples outlets.

Staples arranged to buy out its Canadian partner in The Business Depot for 32 million in early 1994.


In the meantime, the latest expansion pushed 1995 sales past 3 billion, making Staples only the sixth company in United States history to reach that mark within ten years of its founding.


Also in 1996, Staples bought out its partner in the U.K. and German ventures, Kingfisher, in a 29.4 million deal.


During 1997 the company opened 128 new stores in North America, bringing its store total to more than 740.

Quill, which had 1997 revenues of 555 million, continued to operate independently as a Staples subsidiary.

In 1997 Staples and its chief rival, Office Depot, tried to merge their operations, but the Federal Trade Commission blocked the merger on the grounds that it would have anti-competitive results.

Although Staples plans to maintain and perhaps to expand its international operations, those operations were unprofitable as of 1997 and company management was not overly optimistic about their future.


The expansion pace quickened in 1998, as 174 more stores made their debuts.

Other important developments in 1998 included the launching of the Staples online retail store,, and the promotion of Ronald L. Sargent from president of North American operations to president and COO of Staples Stemberg continued to serve as chairman and CEO .

Staples, Inc. is one of the world's largest office superstore operators with about 780 stores as of mid-1998.

Staples acquired the naming rights for the Staples Center in Los Angeles shortly before construction began in 1998.


Later in 1999 the company opened its 1,000th store worldwide, becoming the first office supplies superstore retailer to do so.

In the fall of 1999 Staples created a tracking stock for its Internet operations and began selling shares in the stock in private transactions.


During the latter months of 2000, the retail market for office supplies began foundering.


In 2001 Office Depot generated 11 billion in sales, compared to 10.7 billion for Staples.


In March 2002 Staples announced a plan to close 31 underperforming stores, most of which were located in small towns, taking a charge of 50.1 million in the process.

In July 2002 Staples bought Medical Arts Press, Inc.

Just days after That Was Easy began, Staples posted 2002 fourth-quarter earnings that repositioned Staples as the new industry leader over Office Depot.

When longtime Staples executive Ron Sargent replaced founder Stemberg as CEO in 2002, employees were already aware of the new CEO's modesty.

In a 2002 earnings conference call Sargent explained the needs of small businesses to investors.


The first two commercials ran during the CBS program 60 Minutes on March 2, 2003.

Adweek magazine named the commercial Ink Cartridge Bingo a Best Spot of April 2003, commenting, It's a clever way to promote a dull and frustrating product.


Staples ended its relationship with Martin Williams in July 2004 but continued using the That was easy tagline for later campaigns.


In August 2006, Ahold announced the addition of the Staples section to all Tops Friendly Markets locations as well.


On February 4, 2015, Staples announced a plan to once again acquire Office Depot, which itself had recently acquired OfficeMax in a bid to compete against Staples.


At the end of January 2016, it was announced to employees that Staples would be laying off hundreds of workers at their headquarters location.


In May 2017, the chain began a new advertising campaign with the slogan It's Pro Time , which largely downplayed its retail operations.

In 2017, Sycamore Partners acquired Staples for 6.9 billion, of which 1.6 billion was funded as equity, with the remaining deal value raised as debt.


With the rebranding, CEO Sandy Douglas who joined the company in 2018 stated that Staples was now being marketed as a worklife fulfillment company, which he explained was about helping businesses of all sizes as they create the most dynamic and productive work environments for their teams.


In March 2019, Office Outlet went into administration, citing that it had recently experienced a reduction in credit from key suppliers, given the economic outlook which has severely impacted the financial position of the company.

On April 9, 2019, Sycamore Partners refinanced 5.4 billion in debt against its ownership of Staples, producing a one-time 1 billion dividend for the private equity firm.

Company Founded
Framingham, MA
Company Headquarter
Myra Hart,Leo Kahn,Thomas Stemberg
Company Founders

Staples Jobs Nearby

Staples Jobs

Staples Similar Companies

Company NameascdescFounded DateascdescRevenueascdescEmployee Sizeascdesc
Best Buy1966
Office Depot1986
Costco Wholesale1976
Sam's Club1983
J. C. Penney1902
Find Jobs from Similar Companies
Personalize your job search. Where would you like to work?
0 selections

Staples Similar Companies Jobs