Redefining the bookstore
> Borders Malaysia aims to make readers see its stores in a new light, treating its space as a brand new hangout spot
LET’S face it, Malaysians are not avid readers. However, the newly-renovated Borders at The Gardens hopes to change the way people treat their bookstores. The Kuala Lumpur-based store recently underwent a massive redesign, turning itself into a lifestyle-oriented space.
During a press conference last Thursday to officially launch Borders The Gardens’ redesigned outlet, Hishammudin Hasan, director of Business Development for Berjaya Corporation Berhad (BCB) said: “Our main objective is making Malaysians read more books, and this new lifestyle concept will encourage people to want to read.”
During his speech at the official launch, Chan Kien Sing, executive director of BCB, said he has been involved with the evolution of Borders Malaysia since 2005.
He said that when Borders first opened in Singapore, the brand was initially reluctant to come to Malaysia, but BCB managed to offer Borders a special franchise arrangement to operate here.
For this newly revamped store, Chan said: “We are re-thinking and innovatively developing our business model to cope with the new realities of the world.
“Our new store shows that the traditional model of a bookstore is evolving with a blend of brands and products.”
The store was redesigned by Borders Gen-Y and Millennial employees, with some help from design professionals.
This 7,500 sq ft outlet now features an island coffee bar by Starbucks, gadgets displayed at a brand new Radioshack corner, collectible figurines from Little Monsters, board games by Imagine Games, greeting cards and gifts by Memory Lane and Hallmark, an extensive children’s section with bean bags, and a space for small community events.
The store has over 230,000 copies of 28,000 titles that include fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, art, photography, cooking, design, home decor, graphic novels, and children’s colouring and activity books.
Hishammudin added: “Borders also hosts a myriad of activities to make this not just a store but a hangout place, [with activities] such as Hallmark’s Match Attax, Swap & Play competitions and the launch of the Wongamania board game by Imagine Games, to name a few.”
According to him, the store will not only be holding book-related events on a regular basis but also other educational events.
He also said that there are plans to similarly revamp the other Borders stores.
At the launch ... Hishammudin (left) and Chan sharing a light moment at the newly renovated Borders The Gardens. (below) Hishammudin showing Chan the Starbucks coffee bar within the bookstore, with Radioshack’s corner in the background.