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.

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