Borders to re-open in Singapore

Sia Ling Xin

Borders bookstore will be coming back to Singapore by the end of the year. It will be opening in Jurong.

Borders bookstore will be coming back to Singapore by the end of the year. It will be opening in Jurong.

Homegrown book retailer Popular Holdings announced Wednesday morning the company acquired the Borders brand for Singapore last year.

The news came on the heels of Popular announcing the closure of its lifestyle-cum-bookstore Prologue in ION Orchard on 25 August.

For many longtime Borders customers, Borders’ comeback is a cause of celebration.

“Borders carries a wide selection of books that are not easily available in other bookstores in Singapore, which mostly stock bestsellers,” 23-year-old undergraduate Crystal Wee said.

“More importantly, Borders has a very casual and happy vibe, especially compared to bookstores that may seem huge and imposing. Borders is not just a bookstore, but a lifestyle joint where book-lovers can congregate,” the English major added.

Vincent Ng, 31, has high hopes for the brand-name bookstore’s comeback.

“To me, Borders advocated reading as a way of life. Unlike other places, they allowed customers to browse through the books instead of sealing them up, which helped me discover many new authors. Also, I hope Popular will not turn Borders into an assessment-books bookstore,” he said.

The graphic designer, who got to know his girlfriend in the Wheelock Place outlet in 2009, said he is eagerly anticipating a visit to the new outlet with her.

Michelle Ng, 25, echoes Vincent’s sentiments.

“While Popular is the ‘go-to assessment book’ store, Borders is my ‘happy childhood bookstore', and I can’t wait to step into a Borders store again,” she said, adding that she spent many weekends as a kid with her parents at the flagship Wheelock Place outlet.

However, accountant Lau Yunru, 25, said whether Borders comes back to Singapore does not matter to her.

“I’d rather buy e-books, it’s much more convenient,” she explained.

Borders shuttered its Wheelock Place outlet in August 2011 due to a rental dispute, and the one in Parkway the month after. Following that was locally-founded bookstore Page One, which closed its Vivocity outlet last year.

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