JOHOR BARU: Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd will continue to open outlets under the Popular brand despite its venture into the lifestyle concept bookstore Harris.
Executive director Lim Lee Ngoh said it was only logical for the company to bank on Popular’s reputation as a household name in the local book retail market.
With 50 outlets, the company was the biggest book retailer in the country, she said, adding that it planned to open six new stores yearly.
“While the affordably-priced books segment is a big business for us, a new market is certainly growing,” said Lim.
She said local demand had grown in recent years for medium and high-end books, especially in English publications.
Lim attributed this to the Government’s acknowledgement on the importance of the English language in the academic and professional worlds.
More Malaysians were reading and on an average they read three books instead of three pages per year previously, she said during a media tour of the company’s first lifestyle concept bookstore at AEON Tebrau City shopping complex.
A brand name under parent company, Popular Holdings Ltd, Harris is the name of a bookshop selling solely English books and caters primarily to the expatriate community in Hong Kong.
Popular Holdings bought over the outlet, lock, stock and barrel from the owners, an English couple, in the 1970s.
Tomorrow’s opening of the Johor Baru outlet, its first Harris store outside Hong Kong, will be officiated by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting,
“We have invested RM15mil in the 3,716-sq m outlet, which is the company’s largest bookstore and the country’s second largest,” Lim said.
Lim said the outlet offered books and magazines from Australia, Britain, China, Singapore, Taiwan and the US, on a wide range of topics .
She said the company’s decision to venture into lifestyle concept bookstores was driven by the presence of major international book retailers in Malaysia.
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