Reading still alive as Taiwan’s eslite spectrum to open biggest bookstore in Southeast Asia at The Starhill

Reading is not dead as Taiwan’s eslite Group, the pioneer of the world’s first 24-hour bookstore – eslite spectrum – has signed an agreement to be the flagship tenant of the refurbished The Starhill in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

This is the group’s first foray into Southeast Asia and the store at The Starhill will be the biggest bookstore in the region – and is even bigger than its Songyan store in Taipei.

So why is eslite coming to Malaysia?

Mercy Wu, chairperson of the eslite Group, during a virtual press conference this afternoon said: “Malaysia’s multi-ethnicity, numerous languages and warmth and friendly people is a big reason for us to come to Malaysia.

“We met (YTL Land & Development vice-president) Joseph Yeoh and he was very persuasive about the advantages of opening a store here.

“We were hesitant but he played an important role. He was patient and listened to our ideas and allowed us to have time to think about our decisions and today, we have signed the agreement to open our store.”

But hasn’t the Covid-19 pandemic spelt the death knell of brick and mortar outlets?

Yeoh doesn’t think so. In fact, he reckons brick and mortar outlets will thrive in the coming years.

He is also looking forward to eslite running a 24-hour store in Kuala Lumpur.

“I have full confidence the retail industry will bounce back. It will pivot towards a more experiential form of retail and adapt to the new norms,” said Yeoh.

“I’m excited eslite group is considering a 24-hour store in The Starhill. It has indicated it could operate round the clock which is what the retail scene requires.

“I can’t wait for them to introduce the new concept to us.”

Separately, he said the additional allocation of RM200 million to the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry for the implementation of the stimulus package under the Tourism Rehabilitation Plan for 2021 would benefit the industry.

“I believe with this new budget and stimulus packages, brick and mortar business will go on and thrive.”

Yeoh added The Starhill’s biggest strength is that it is a boutique mall whose tenant would be first new to market luxury stores. The Starhill, which is being refurbished, will open its doors in the first quarter of 2021.

Eslite spectrum will be a creative cultural venue with a rich selection of Chinese, English and Malay language books, as well as music, design and hand-made goods, performing arts, themed restaurants and coffee shops, lifestyle brands, and diverse cutting-edge cultural and creative brands.

The focus will be on showcasing the dynamism and vibrant energy of cross-cultural and creative exchange between Malaysia and Taiwan.

The 70,191 sq ft store will become The Starhill’s anchor tenant, commanding the entire Level 1 space and also including a street-fronting F&B outlet on the Ground Level right next to The Starhill Piazza where creative events and programmes will be staged all year round.

The flagship store will also feature a café terrace on Level 1 overlooking The Starhill Piazza fronting Jalan Bukit Bintang.

An exclusive escalator is also strategically placed to bring shoppers directly from The Starhill’s new entrance atrium to eslite spectrum upstairs.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

PAC WANTS YAYASAN WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN TO BE MADE STATUTORY BODY

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) should be made a statutory body free from political interference.

“The measures to resolve 97 transactions by DBKL since 2011 did not refer to any SOP (standard operating procedure),” PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said in a statement today.

“The process was too loose, exposed to abuse of power and did not protect the interest of DBKL and residents of Kuala Lumpur.”

500 PAY LAST RESPECTS TO GERIK MP

Gerik MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman, who was passed away in Raub, Pahang yesterday after suffering a heart attack, was buried this morning.

His remains were laid to rest at Kampung Padang Muslim cemetery with over 500 paying their last respects.

CHEAPER EGGS AS DEMAND DROPS DURING MCO

Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee says the market price of chicken eggs has dropped by 38 per cent because of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“The market price, based on Grade C chicken egg, dropped from 34 sen in April to 21 sen in November. This has resulted in a smaller profit margin for producers,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

PROJECT 60.1: RAISING AWARENESS AND REMEMBERING LOVED ONES BY GOING BALD

Twentytwo13’s senior copy editor Purwaiz Alam, who promised to walk 25km on Nov 28 to raise funds for the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), went bald this morning.

Alam did so to show moral support for a couple of brave friends who are determined to win the fight against cancer as well as those who have passed on.

TRIO GETS PAHANG GIRL GUIDES TO GLOW UP FOR BRIGHTER FUTURE

Three good friends – Cik Puan Panglima Puteri Suraiya Afzan Mohamed Moiz, Hannah Kam and Deena Azmi – have come up with Girl Guides Glow Up Pahang Edition to prepare young girls for life after school.

This includes helping them to document their resumes and prepare them for interviews, basic skills which are often overlooked.

Tagged with: