US coffee shop giant Starbucks Coffee Company has signed a partnership deal with US bookstore giant Borders Books to roll out at least six joint trading ventures in Australia.

The plan involves incorporating a sub-leased Starbucks cafe into all of Borders' local outlets. The first combined store is due to opens in Westfield Hornsby this week. Starbucks is being incorporated into the store under a sub-lease arrangement. According to Markus Hofer, MD of Starbucks Coffee Company Australia, the co-branding concept is based on similar initiatives already apparent in the UK.

Cynthia Forslund, MD for Borders in the Pacific rim, told the Australian Financial Review that opening joint stores will encourage a wider clientele: "Our experience shows that appreciation of books and the culture of coffee are aligned in many ways.

"Our aim is to enhance the relaxed and friendly retail environment in which consumers can enjoy their favourite espresso as they browse, read, listen and explore."

Borders opened its first store in Australia in the latter half of 1998. By the end of the year, there will be six Border's outlets and 22 Starbucks cafes in the country.