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BELLEVUE, WA-Borders Group Inc., a $3.3 billion company based in Ann Arbor, MI, continues its march to add stores across the country and overseas with the grand opening of its 28,000-sf, three-level store at Bellevue Square shopping mall this weekend.

A global retailer of books, music, video and other information and entertainment, the self-described “high-growth” company opened more than 40 new Borders Books and Music stores nationwide and several international stores last year. The company now has a presence on four continents: North America, Asia, Australia and Europe. In February 2000, the company opened its first bi-lingual Borders store in Puerto Rico. Borders wagers the international market is three times the size of the domestic market and is positioning itself to capitalize on this growth opportunity.

This year, the company expects to open between 25 and 30 new stores in the United States and about six international facilities, bringing the total to about 400 stores worldwide. Borders currently operates seven stores in Washington State. A source with the company declined to talk about new Washington stores until deals were completed and leases signed. At least half of all titles in Borders stores are based on regional interests, demographics and customer profiles.

Joining Bellevue in opening stores in the next few weeks are the cities of Mt. Laurel, NJ and Scarsdale, NY. “We’re always looking to go into areas that make sense for us,” Smith says. “We go where we’re needed.”

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