Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005

Borders opens its largest store in world in Malaysia

Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The Michigan-based book store chain Borders opened its largest store in the world in Malaysia on Tuesday, saying the multiracial country was chosen because of its diverse culture.
The 60,000-square-foot store at Kuala Lumpur's Berjaya Times Square shopping mall carries more than 200,000 books, movies and music titles with publications available in English, Chinese, and the Malay languages. The number is similar to that in many of its outlets.
Rick Vanzura of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders Group Inc. said it was the largest of Borders' 1,200 stores worldwide in terms of floor space and its first franchise outlet since the company began expanding globally in 1997.
"One particularly appealing factor that contributed toward our decision to venture into Malaysia was the beauty of the country's multiculturalism," Vanzura, president of Borders Group International, said at the launch of the store. Malaysia's 25 million population is a mix of Malays, Chinese, Indian and many tribes.
"We value the unique backgrounds and differences of our employees, customers and vendors because they result in our ongoing success. We couldn't have chosen a better country than Malaysia to exemplify one of our strongest qualities," he said.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmed Badawi's wife, Endon Mahmood, inaugurated the store, which will be operated by Berjaya Group Bhd. under a franchise agreement with Borders.
Endon welcomed the store's presence in Malaysia, calling it "a positive step toward Malaysia's goal toward building a literate nation."
Berjaya, one of Malaysia's largest conglomerates, plans to open a smaller Border store in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur before the end of this year with about eight more expected to follow.
Before the Malaysian store opened, Borders' largest stores were in Britain in 2001, each about 50,000 square feet. Borders is a publicly held Fortune 500 company with annual sales of $3.7 billion. Borders operates over 460 Borders superstores in the United States and 41 stores outside the United States. It also operates 36 Books etc. stores in Britain and about 700 Waldenbooks stores in America.

Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"