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TOYS 'R' US AND WESTERN PUBLISHING ANNOUNCE MAJOR EXPANSION OF BOOKS 'R' US PROGRAM

 PARAMUS, N.J. and NEW YORK, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Toys "R" Us, Inc. (NYSE: TOY) and Western Publishing Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPGI) jointly announced today a major expansion of the Books "R" Us "shop- within-a-store" program. The concept, which was introduced last year on a test basis in 30 Toys "R" Us locations, will be rolled-out during 1993 to an additional approximate 170 stores, bringing the total to about 200 Toys "R" Us locations by September.
 "Books "R" Us is a dynamic and exciting retailing concept for us," stated Charles Lazarus, chairman and CEO of Toys "R" Us. "It is a resource to our customers, offering them a complete juvenile book shop that fits well within our normal retailing format. Sales of children's books increased dramatically during the test phase of Books "R" Us. Thus we are excited by the new, expanded program."
 A distinguishing feature of Books "R" Us is its unique look: the shop has carpeting, fully-faced bookshelves, creative graphics and special lighting, making it an environment conducive to reading and browsing. "Books "R" Us also helps promote literacy by demonstrating to children that reading is fun," Mr. Lazarus noted.
 "Consistent with our objective of improved customer service throughout the store, the Books "R" Us shops are staffed with people who are knowledgeable about children's books," stated Mr. Lazarus.
 "Toys "R" Us appreciates Western's investment in the needed technology, retail support and resources required to bring a new and creative approach in book retailing to the marketplace," he concluded.
 Richard A. Bernstein, chairman and CEO of Western Publishing Group, said: "Naturally, we are very pleased with the development of the Books "R" Us concept and we look forward to the major expansion this year within Toys "R" Us. Western Publishing acts as a publisher, distributor, consolidator and servicer for the program. Western Publishing's long-standing strengths as the largest U.S. publisher of children's books and its broad distribution capabilities helped launch this innovative program. This program brings to the consumer a wide selection of the best children's books from every major juvenile publisher."
 "If the results in 1992 from the 30 test stores are any indication," stated Mr. Bernstein, "then the Books "R" Us concept is a win-win situation for all of the publishers, Toys "R" Us and its customers. Western Publishing, the 25 or more other publishers represented in the program, and Toys "R" Us benefit from increased sales, while the consumer enjoys a wider selection of children's books, in a conducive setting, at competitive prices. In addition, having a book shop within Toys "R" Us helps promote the fun of reading, since everything else at Toys "R" Us relates to fun in the minds of children.
 "In order to undertake the Books "R" Us program, Western Publishing developed the technology and retail support to assist Toys "R" Us in bringing this new and creative approach in book retailing to the marketplace. We are pleased to be able to lend our publishing and distribution strengths in helping to bring this idea to reality. Our research confirms that the Books "R" Us concept has increased the overall sale of children's books and not just shifted market share. We are very pleased to have helped Toys "R" Us in their efforts to broaden reading among the children of our country," Mr. Bernstein said.
 Toys "R" Us is the world's largest children's specialty retailing chain with 540 toy stores in the United States, 167 International toy stores and 211 Kids "R" Us children's clothing stores. Toys "R" Us intends to open 95-100 toy stores in 1993, including 55 International toy stores and 10 Kids "R" Us stores.
 Through its Western Publishing Company, Inc. subsidiary, Western Publishing Group, Inc. creates, publishes, manufactures, prints and markets story and picture books as well as color and other activity books and products for children. These products are sold principally under the GOLDEN and GOLDEN BOOK names. The company is a major producer and marketer of puzzles, children's and adult games, children's pre- recorded video and special interest books for the entire family. Western Publishing Company also offers a wide range of printing, graphic, creative and distribution services to customers in industry and government.
 Western Publishing Group, Inc., through the Beach Products and Advertising Specialty Divisions of its Penn Corporation subsidiary, is engaged in the manufacture and sale of decorated paper tableware and party goods, stationery and advertising specialties and promotional business products.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Michael Goldstein of Toys "R" Us, Inc., 201-599-6981; or Ira A. Gomberg, vice president-corporate communications of Western Publishing Group, 212-688-4500/
 (TOY WPGI)


CO: Toys 'R' Us, Inc.; Western Publishing Group, Inc. ST: New Jersey, New York IN: REA SU:

WB -- NY030 -- 0401 03/29/93 10:10 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993
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