Kinokuniya in Liang Court will lower its shutters for the last time on April 21, after over 30 years as a haven for book lovers in Singapore.
The store, which opened in the River Valley Road mall in 1983, was the bookshop chain’s first branch in an Asian country outside Japan.
The 13,000 sq ft space has 150,000 titles in English, Japanese and Chinese, as well as a Bargain Alley with books at discounted prices.
Mr Kenny Chan, senior store and merchandising director of Books Kinokuniya (Pacific Asia Region), told The Straits Times that human traffic at the Liang Court outlet had been on the decline.
“We need to consolidate our resources…so management decided that since the lease is up, it is timely and convenient to close,” he said.
Most of the books will be returned to the suppliers, while the rest will be sent to its three other retail outlets here: its flagship store in Ngee Ann City, which opened in 1999, as well as stores in Bugis Junction and Jem shopping mall in Jurong East. Kinokuniya Liang Court’s first customers here were Japanese expatriates, but the store soon included more English titles, paving the way for its success.
Its closure was lamented by Dr Liew Kai Khiun, 45, assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.
“It’s sad because it was my first encounter with a Japanese bookstore…” said Dr Liew, who had headed to the store for manga and translated copies of novels by Toyoko Yamasaki .
On its last day, the store will open at 10.30am and close at 9.30pm.
• Additional reporting by Desiree Loh
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