Eslite Bootsore, Taiwan's largest bookstore chain, is opening an outlet in Kuala Lumpur and the news has made many Malaysians excited
In a report by Taiwan Focus yesterday, 27 May, Eslite Group chairperson Mercy Wu confirmed with media that the company will open a store in Kuala Lumpur, making it Eslite Bookstore's first outlet in the Southeast Asian market.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eslite Bookstore expected to open its doors to Malaysian customers in 2021. However, Oriental Daily reported that the actual opening date is uncertain at this current juncture.
Despite that, it didn't stop Malaysians from going crazy over the news, considering Eslite Bookstore is known for its posh atmosphere and 24-hour business in one of its Taipei outlets
Eslite Bookstore Dunhua outlet in central Taipei spans five floors, featuring an inventory of over 300,000 books, CDs, DVDs, clothing, gift items, teas, and a cafe on the second floor.
It is the only 24-hour bookstore in Taiwan, as well as one of the largest of its kind. The bookstore has become so popular over the course of 31 years that it became a tourist attraction.
It is also a trendy place for locals to hang out and spend hours reading amid the serene environment.
It is no wonder Malaysians are excited about its opening in KL.
1. The store may be as big as a football field
Oriental Daily reported that the store will be roughly around 3,300 to 6,600 sqm wide. That measurement is about three Olympic-sized swimming pools and ranges up to 92% of the size of a football pitch.
It is safe to assume that one visit to the bookstore will never be enough.
2. It will most likely feature a cafe
It goes without saying that most book lovers are avid coffee and tea drinkers. It is also a trend for large bookstores to include a cafe section these days, where readers can lounge on comfy seats as they read their newly-purchased books.
Eslite Bookstore is no different. Its outlets in Taipei, such as the ones in Xinyi and Dunnan, have a cozy cafe section that fills the bookstore with an inviting coffee aroma.
Other than drinks, the cafes also have an extensive food menu with items such as light sandwiches, British scones, salads, and more.
3. A wider book selection
As chairperson Wu mentioned before, selecting Malaysia as the company's first Southeast Asian outlet is a strategic decision because the country has a sizeable Chinese population.
Although the bookstore chain predominantly sells Mandarin books in Taiwan, its outlets in Japan and Hong Kong cater to its local bookworms with a completely different set of books.
In fact, a big part of Eslite Bookstore's success is its book curation process. According to CommonWealth Taiwan magazine, book selection and event curation have long been the vehicle Eslite uses to express its "attitude" and brand identity.
Eslite's common practice is to deal directly with publishers to come out with exciting book launches and exhibitions.
If the same practice is emulated in Malaysia, which it most likely will, Malaysians will be able to enjoy a wider book selection from local authors as well as many books regarded as hidden gems - because the bookstore is more than just a place that focuses on bestsellers, it also prides itself on being a browsing bookstore where shoppers can spend hours looking around and seeing what the bookstore recommends.
4. It is more than just books
After operating for over three decades, Eslite Bookstore has transcended from just selling books.
According to Taipei Times, the company now also runs department stores and restaurants that sell appliances and equipment for hotels, restaurants, kitchens, and wine cellars.
While books are still the main drive of Eslite Bookstore's core business, but the company has also taken on the cultural innovation business model, retailing products that celebrate the "diversity of life".
Maybe we can expect the KL store to be like a Muji or Daiso store? We all know how much Malaysians love these kinds of cultural lifestyle stores, especially the stationery.
Are you excited for Eslite Bookstore's opening? We know we definitely are!