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Our Story | About®

Our Story

We’ve been helping businesses for nearly 30 years, and it’s all thanks to a broken typewriter ribbon.

How it all began

In 1985, Staples’ founder Tom Stemberg, a former supermarket chain executive turned entrepreneur, was working on a business proposal over the Fourth of July weekend when his typewriter ribbon broke. Because it was the holiday weekend, local suppliers and stationery stores were closed. After driving from store to store and not finding the correct ribbon, Tom came to a realization: The world needed a supermarket for office products.

Ten months later, Staples, the first office superstore, was open for business. And office supplies became more accessible, and affordable, to all who needed them.

Many things have changed over the past quarter century, from our expanded product selection to our growing number of stores and ways to shop to becoming a truly global company. But one thing has remained the same: Our customers are our priority, and we’re here to help them make more happen, no matter what it is they want to accomplish.

Who we are

Providing products to the people who want to make more happen is what we do. But who we are is something much more important. Over the past 25+ years, we’ve worked hard to build a powerful brand that people connect with, trust and believe in.

In our earlier days, we let customers know “Yeah, we’ve got that.” They could feel confident that whatever office supplies they needed, they could find at Staples. In the early 2000s, a new tagline was introduced: that was easy. These three simple words set us apart from competition and signified that we were about more than just selection; we were also about the easiest shopping experience possible.

And now? We live in a ridiculously busy world in which everyone is trying to do more — whether it’s starting a business, striving to be the world’s best teacher or checking off a mile-long to-do list. While easy is still a big part of who we are, our customers need more than just an easy experience and the usual office supplies to make their dreams a reality. They need Staples to be there with every product their businesses need to succeed, so they can make more happen.

Learn how we’re helping customers make more happen.


Staples: through the years.

Take a walk down memory lane with us and view some of the highlights in our company’s history.

Learn more about our
important milestones


Fun fact

The first Staples® store opened on May 1, 1986 in Brighton, Massachusetts.

An evolving brand

1995 Yeah, we've got that.
2003 that was easy
2014 mmh

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make more happen