Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City to get smaller

Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City to get smaller
MOVING UP BUT DOWNSIZING: Books Kinokuniya's 43,000 sq ft flagship store will have a 20-plus per cent reduction in space when it opens its doors on the fourth floor come November.

SINGAPORE - After 15 years at Ngee Ann City, Books Kinokuniya will be moving - one level up.

The bookstore was asked to move to the fourth floor - where it will open its doors come November - by its landlord, it said. The new location will also mean a 20 per cent reduction in size, as landlord Toshin Development was unable to offer a similar-sized unit, it added.

"We were hence left with no choice but to comply and work with a 20-plus per cent reduction in space as compared with our present store," said store director Kenny Chan. The 43,000 sq ft outlet is its flagship store and is home to over 500,000 titles.

In response to queries from The Business Times, Toshin said that it was "timely" for Ngee Ann City to introduce new retail options to the market. The typical lease term at the shopping centre is three years, which is similar to that of other shopping malls in Singapore.

Despite the additional costs that the bookstore will face in retrofitting and furnishing its new store, keeping existing customers informed of the move as well as trying to attract new customers to a higher floor, Books Kinokuniya is keen to remain in Ngee Ann City.

"We have internally reviewed our options - which were aplenty - but, ultimately, our 15 years at the same, well-invested and trusted location nailed it for us," said Mr Chan. Books Kinokuniya first opened on the third floor of Ngee Ann City back in August 1999.

Kinokuniya's last day of business on level three is Oct 22, after which it will be closed for around a week or so to facilitate its relocation. The bookstore will be the anchor tenant on the fourth floor.

Books Kinokuniya also has stores in Liang Court, Bugis Junction and Jem in Jurong East. Liang Court was the site of its first bookstore in Singapore, which opened back in 1983, and was aimed largely at the Japanese community that was living here at the time.

Toshin did not reveal which retailer or retailers would be taking over the level-three space from Books Kinokuniya, although it did share that the shopping centre is running at full occupancy.

A unit of Takashimaya, Toshin is the master tenant at Ngee Ann City. It sub-leases space to luxury brands.

This article by The Business Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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