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THE NATURE COMPANY'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY; 20 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL SPECIALTY RETAILING

 BERKELEY, Calif., March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nature Company mission statement: "The Nature Company exists to provide fine quality products devoted to the observation, understanding and appreciation of the natural world. We strive to operate in visually exciting, professionally staffed environment in which authenticity and knowledge are balanced with sufficient humor to give our customers an experience which makes them feel good about themselves and the world in which they live."
 In March 1973, Tom and Priscilla Wrubel opened The Nature Company, a 600-square-foot store on College Avenue in Berkeley. The new store was dedicated to helping customers discover, understand and enjoy nature. Tom's childhood in the Southern California desert and Priscilla's childhood in the Midwest gave them an appreciation for the natural world. Members of the original Peace Corps in the early 60s, Tom and Priscilla expanded their understanding of the natural world working in Liberia, West Africa. The love for nature that began in childhood and deepened in the Peace Corps formed the basis for everything The Nature Company would become.
 The Wrubels gave their new company a philosophy that ensured its success: The Nature Company exists to create and sell products devoted to the observation, understanding and enjoyment of the natural world. Furthermore, no products would be sold which resulted in the killing of animals for trophy purposes, including butterflies and seashells (animals which are usually captured live, then killed for the sale of the shell or as specimens for collections). Priscilla Wrubel remembers, "In those days, most museum shops sold seashells. One of the things that set us apart from museum stores at the time was our commitment not to sell anything that had been killed for collection purposes. We didn't know then how visionary we were about that commitment. Now everyone knows that you can't take, say, parrots or snakes out of Latin America without damaging the rain forests."
 From the beginning, the Wrubels were acutely aware that few stores offered quality products that encouraged children to explore and appreciate the world around them. "In addition to offering children and parents fun products to use in nature, we also encourage teachers to use nature itself as a tool in the classroom," says Wrubel, a former teacher herself. "Using nature as a model or example, a teacher can teach any part of the curriculum -- math, analytical skills, anthropology, the sciences." At The Nature Company, all products, whether for kids or grown-ups, would reflect the real character of the animals or natural events they were portraying (no talking dinosaurs or hippos wearing tutus, for example). From the outset, only quality tools for children and adults would be offered.
 Quality in design, product development and customer service has always been an important part of the whole Nature Company concept. It is old-fashioned retailing dressed in the most contemporary packaging, offering customers the best in nature-oriented products and services. From the very beginning, The Nature Company has been uncommonly successful.
 Tom Wrubel passed away in December 1988, but Priscilla continues to ensure that their original vision and spirit guides and shapes the success of The Nature Company.
 In 1983, the Wrubels sold The Nature Company to the CML Group Inc. (NYSE: CML) of Acton, Mass., following a decision to embark upon a significant expansion of the business. Today, The Nature Company consists of 100 stores in the United States and Canada, with gross sales for fiscal year 1993 forecast at $145 million. Peter Revers, president of The Nature Company, is excited about the next 20 years. "The future will see continued expansion in North America," he says, "and a determined expansion into the international arena, building on our success in Japan, Australia and France. And The Nature Company will add continued excitement to our product line, while furthering such causes as The Nature Conservancy. After all, The Nature Company has a mission to uphold, and we honor this responsibility."
 -0- 3/22/93
 /CONTACT: Harriet Crosby of The Nature Company, 510-649-5410/
 (CML)


CO: The Nature Company; CML Group Inc. ST: California, Massachusetts IN: REA SU:

LH-GT -- SF006 -- 8435 03/22/93 19:23 EST
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Date:Mar 22, 1993
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