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GEORGE TOWN: Borders Malaysia is embarking on an expansion trail by opening two to three stores yearly in the next three to five years to better serve the community.
Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd's chief operating officer, Yau Su Peng said among the locations that have been identified for Borders are urban areas like Klang Valley, Penang, southern region as well as Sabah and Sarawak.
"We are planning for three to four new stores next year and are still considering suitable locations, likely one in Penang and an additional two stores in the Klang Valley," she told Bernama in an interview here today.
Yau said Borders Penang namely in Queensbay Mall and a pop up store in Straits Quay have gained popularity among the locals and received steady demand from expatriates following the success of Malaysia My Second Home Programme.
Currently, there are seven Borders stores in Malaysia, of which one is in Queensbay Mall, Penang, while others are in the Klang Valley.
Yau said book store operators like Borders must remain relevant and stay focused in selecting a wide range of books in the face of rising competition to survive.
"We see the need to expand beyond books and need to focus in what people really want to read. Readers today are looking for quality books," she added.
Yau said the prospects for the book industry is subject to the changing urban lifestyles and growing interest towards e-book and its applications as well as mobile devices which affected the way people read.
"I'm not saying people read less but they read differently," she added.
Yau said the book industry is also developing and changing as parents today are more affluent and also there is greater awareness of developing reading as a habit.
"At Borders Malaysia, we see healthy sales of books amid greater awareness of developing learning as skills. I don't say importance of books but the importance of developing reading and learning as habits to become lifelong skills," she said.
Yau said most children today are raised to become a thinker rather than a reader or learner to enable them to process their thoughts and apply it via communication.
Borders Malaysia, an international bookstore chain from the United States, is owned and operated by Berjaya Books, a subsidiary of Berjaya Corporation Bhd, which owns the Borders trademark in Malaysia.
On the new brand under the Berjaya umbrella, RadioShack, Yau said the brand was an excitement for Malaysians as it is the US' leading retailer of innovative mobile and technology products, services and accessories.
Yau, who is also the chief operating officer of Berjaya RadioShack Sdn Bhd, said the expansion of RadioShack stores would be in tandem with Borders Malaysia in order to add interest.
It was reported that Berjaya planned to open at least 1,000 franchise locations across Asean within the next 10 years after securing a long-term master franchise agreement from RadioShack Corporation last year. -- BERNAMA