ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Borders today announced it has signed an agreement with Sony that expands their existing relationship for the sale of the Reader Digital Book, and includes a new, co-branded version of Sony's online store for e-book downloads expected to be launched in October. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060208/BORDERSGRPLOGO ) Under the agreement, Borders will expand the sale of the Reader -- the revolutionary reading device for e-books -- to over 500 of its stores nationwide beginning in October. Currently, the Reader is sold in approximately 270 Borders stores, which began selling the device in 2006 when Borders was the first retailer to make it available outside of Sony itself (through its Sony Style stores and the company's e-commerce site). In addition, as an outgrowth of its commitment to selling the Reader nationwide, Borders will launch a co-branded online store with support from Sony that will offer digital downloads of e-books. The online store will offer customers a vast selection of titles, including more than 20,000 books written by such bestselling authors as Dean Koontz, Khaled Hosseini and Michael Connelly, representing the leading names in publishing today. Eventually, the co-branded e-book store will be offered as part of Borders' upcoming e-commerce site, Borders.com. Borders plans to market the Reader and the co-branded online store to its millions of customers using the company's comprehensive strategic marketing resources, including significant in-store exposure, as well as inclusion in the weekly Borders "Shortlist" customer e-mail, to promote e-books to an audience of heavy readers and book buyers who are loyal to the Borders brand. The agreement will also enable Borders and Sony to help provide greater selection and value to customers. Through collaboration with publishers, the companies plan to broaden the number of e-books offered including more backlist titles by popular authors, expansion of the e-book format among small and mid-sized publishers, and by working toward the development of enhanced content that will provide added incentive to purchase books in traditional and digital formats. "Embracing technology as a path to differentiate Borders is a key part of our company's strategic plan," said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer George Jones. "Sony's long history of innovation and pioneering efforts in establishing the e-book category with the Reader makes them a great partner. We firmly support the e-book as a format we believe will be of growing importance to our customers in the future, and this agreement is a big part of our plans to make Borders a true cross-channel retailer, fulfilling our mission as a headquarters for knowledge and entertainment." "Borders is a world-class brand with incredible reach and influence, and their commitment to e-books is a clear sign the category is moving beyond the early adopter phase into the mainstream," said Stan Glasgow, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics Inc. "We look forward to working with Borders and the publishing community to broaden the audience by delivering a greater selection of digital content to people who love to read." About the Reader The Reader couples an innovative electronic paper display with simple on-screen controls and stylish design. Readers can carry with them about 80 typical e-books on the device (based on an average file size of 1.2MB), which has a battery life equivalent to about 7,500 continuous page turns (battery life will vary with usage). The Reader's high resolution electronic paper display delivers a realistic print look that rivals traditional paper and results in crisp text and graphics that are easy on the eyes even in bright sunlight. About Borders Group Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) is a leading global retailer of books, music and movies with more than 1,200 stores worldwide, primarily operating under the Borders and Waldenbooks brand names. More information on the company is available at www.bordersgroupinc.com. 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 "plans," "will," 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 matters such as the company's future financial performance, and its strategic plans, including benefits as a result of its relationship with Sony. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and plans to differ materially from those included in the company's forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, consumer demand for the company's products, particularly during the holiday season, which is believed to be related to general economic and geopolitical conditions, competition and other factors; the availability of adequate capital to fund the company's operations and to carry out its strategic plans; the performance of the company's information technology systems and the development of improvements to the systems necessary to implement the company's strategic plan, and, with respect to the exploration of strategic alternatives for certain international operations, the ability to attract interested third parties. The company's periodic reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission contain more detailed discussions of these and other risk factors that could cause actual results and plans to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements, and those discussions are incorporated herein by reference. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Borders Group