BOOKXCESS TO OPEN 2 MORE BOOK­STORES

Im­prov­ing econ­omy prompts Big Bad Wolf book fair or­gan­iser to open 2 more stores by Septem­ber

New Straits Times - - Business - FARAH ADILLA SHAH ALAM [email protected]­di­aprima.com.my

CO-FOUNDER and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of BookXcess, An­drew Yap, plans to turn the ven­ture into a bil­lion-dol­lar com­pany while re­main­ing grounded in the phi­los­o­phy when he started — to cul­ti­vate read­ing cul­ture among Malaysians.

He said BookXcess was com­mit­ted to its goal of mak­ing books more ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able.

“What drives me ev­ery day is our mis­sion to bring books to peo­ple, as books in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are still con­sid­ered lux­ury items.

“Mak­ing it af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble, that is what drives us to keep on push­ing,” he told NST Busi­ness in an in­ter­view re­cently.

Yap said as the com­pany had kept its fo­cus more on its Big Bad Wolf book fair for many years, it was high time it be­gan ex­pand­ing BookXcess’s book­store op­er­a­tions.

He said the plan to ex­pand BookXcess, cur­rently on a 12,000 sq ft lot in Am­corp Mall in Petaling Jaya, was timely, as the econ­omy was im­prov­ing and the ring­git was strength­en­ing.

“We kept on chas­ing low-hang­ing fruit to sur­vive in the busi­ness. The Big Bad Wolf book fair is a 365-day busi­ness con­densed into 10 days. It is very in­tense.

“That has led us to ne­glect our book­store, BookXcess. The for­eign ex­change fac­tor drove us to or­gan­ise Big Bad Wolf book fairs in other coun­tries, where the lo­cal cur­ren­cies are not as badly af­fected, such as Thai­land and In­done­sia.

“Now that we are lot more sta­ble, we are go­ing to con­cen­trate on BookXcess. It is our baby and is the start­ing point for ev­ery­thing we are do­ing now.

“I think this is the time that we can give more at­ten­tion to that,” he said.

Yap said BookXcess would open more book­stores, with at least two planned by Septem­ber.

He said the com­pany was also work­ing on a megapro­ject called “The Best Book­store in the World”, to be launched in Ta­marind Square in Cy­ber­jaya on Septem­ber 16.

BookXcess and the mall’s de­vel­oper, Tu­juan Gemi­lang Sdn Bhd, plan to set aside 37,000 sq ft of space for the big­gest book­store in Malaysia.

“We are glad that a mall de­vel­oper is re­ally into this, to cre­ate a space and in­spire the youth. I think this is re­ally what Malaysia needs right now.

“When I first saw the project, it got me re­ally ex­cited, and we are able to come to a com­mon ground with the de­vel­oper, and are able to make com­mer­cial sense of the idea,” he said.

He said the book­store was go­ing to be an open space and open 24-hours a day, with BookXcess also or­gan­is­ing ex­hi­bi­tions re­lat­ing to the arts and cre­ative el­e­ments.

Yap said vis­i­tors would be en­cour­aged to or­gan­ise small gath­er­ings as it was an open space.

Yap said he hoped the space would in­spire peo­ple to ex­press their art and cre­ative ideas.

PIC BY MUHAM­MAD ASYRAF SAWAL

BookXcess co-founder and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­drew Yap says the plan to ex­pand BookXcess is timely, con­sid­er­ing the im­prov­ing econ­omy and strength­en­ing ring­git.

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