Borders Group, Inc., and Sprout, Inc. Announce Strategic Alliance

Borders to Roll Out Sprout's Print-On-Demand Technology in Distribution Center

Jun 01, 1999, 01:00 ET from Borders Group, Inc.

    ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprout, Inc., a digital book
 wholesaler, and Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE:   BGP), the leading global retailer
 of books, music and video, announced a strategic alliance today to advance
 Sprout's print-on-demand capabilities and ultimately to introduce the service
 to Borders customers.
     Specifically, Borders will acquire a minority interest in Sprout and will
 install Sprout's digital, on-demand book production facility in Borders'
 LaVergne, Tenn., fulfillment center, which services and stores.
 Borders expects its fulfillment center to source from Sprout's digital
 warehouse of publisher's content.  Borders also plans to work with Sprout and
 publishers to expand the Sprout title database.
     "Service and selection have always been Borders customer service
 hallmarks," said Rick Vanzura, President of Borders Online.  "We believe
 Sprout's advanced technology will greatly enhance the customer experience in
 both of these critical areas."
     The Sprout method of distribution will ultimately increase the number of
 titles that are immediately available for sale while also providing publishers
 an alternative way to produce and distribute books.  Sprout plans to actively
 market its service to other retailers and book publishers.
     "This is a revolutionary new way of selling books," said Pat Brannan,
 Sprout's CEO.  "Our technology should help eliminate the availability and
 returns problems that have plagued this industry.
     "Borders' obvious strengths -- great stores, an expanding online business,
 and a history of innovation -- will help move this technology into the
 mainstream, and give Borders the ability in the future to offer its customers
 an unlimited on-demand selection," Brannan said.
     Sprout, Inc., is a digital wholesaler located in Atlanta, GA, which
 services book publishers and retailers.  The Sprout system provides
 single-copy production of perfect-bound, paperback books in central and
 in-store production facilities after it has been sold to the end consumer.
 Sprout stores publishers' book content, and distributes that content digitally
 to enable production of books on demand for retailers in a just-in-time
 manner.  This method reduces the cost of storing and shipping books for
 publishers and retailers, lowers the threshold for keeping slow-moving titles
 in print, increases the in-store exposure of titles not already on the shelf,
 and eliminates the risk of returns.
     Borders Group, Inc., is a leading global retailer of books, music, video
 and other information and entertainment items with stores in the United
 States, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.  Headquartered in Ann Arbor,
 Mich., Borders Group, Inc., is the parent company of Borders, Inc., which
 operates over 260 Borders Books and Music stores in the United States,
 offering what is widely regarded as the broadest selection of books and
 multi-media titles available to consumers anywhere.  It is also the parent of, an electronic commerce site that has access to over 650,000
 titles and over 10 million books, music and video items in stock and ready for
 immediate shipping from a state-of-the-art fulfillment and distribution
 center.  With cafe operations in nearly all of its stores, Borders, Inc., is
 one of the nation's largest specialty coffee retailers.  Through Borders (UK)
 Limited, Borders Group, Inc., also operates 26 Books etc. and three Borders
 stores in the U.K.  In addition, Borders Group, Inc., owns Walden Book
 Company, Inc., which has approximately 900 Waldenbooks stores in malls,
 shopping centers and airports across the country.  Borders Group, Inc., trades
 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "BGP."
     To learn more about the company, visit .
 For information on Borders stores, visit .  For
 the ultimate online book, music and video shopping experience, explore .
     Safe Harbor Statement
     This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of  1995.  One can identify these
 forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "expects," "plans,"
 "will," "estimates," "forecasts," "guidance," "projects," "initiatives," and
 other words of similar meaning.  One can also identify them by the fact that
 they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts.  These statements
 are likely to address the Company's growth strategy, financial performance
 (including sales and earnings guidance), marketing and expansion plans, Y2K
 compliance and similar matters.  The Company has identified certain risk
 factors which could cause actual results and plans to differ substantially
 from those included in the forward looking statements.  These factors are
 discussed in Exhibit 99.1 to the Company's Form 10-K Report for the fiscal
 year ended January 24, 1999, and that discussion regarding risk factors is
 incorporated herein by reference.  The Company does not undertake any
 obligation to update forward looking statements.  Information: For general
 information, including copies of this or other reports, please fax or mail
 your request to the attention of the Investor Relations Dept.; Fax
 734-477- 4538; 100 Phoenix Drive; Ann Arbor, MI 48108.  Information can also
 be obtained via the internet by visiting the Borders web site at or via fax by calling Company News On-Call at
 800-758-5804, ext. 106169.

SOURCE Borders Group, Inc.