Kinokuniya Takashimaya bookshop enlarged

Kinokuniya Takashimaya bookshop has an extra 5000 sqft (464.5 sqm) of space, plus a new frontage.

Its expansion to 38,000 sqft has been made possible by the move of Chinese restaurant Imperial Treasure Teochew from Takashimaya Shopping Centre to nearby Ion Orchard in November.

From 1999 to 2013, the Japanese-owned bookstore occupied a 42,000 sqft space on level three, a flagship store with an in-house cafe and carrying 500,000 titles. However, it was told by the landlord to move one floor up to make way for new retail offerings. The fourth-floor premises were smaller by about 25 per cent.

Store manager Kenny Chan says he was “elated” when he found out late last year that the store could take over the space in front of it. “Now our customers have the opportunity to look for things through self-discovery, at a pace and space that is more breathable,” he says.

The extra space merges seamlessly with the rest of the store, and has similar speckled granite flooring. “We went back to the same mountain in Xiamen, China, to look for the same stone so the front portion can tie in with the main store,” says Tan Kay Ngee, principal architect of Kay Ngee Tan Architects.

Tan is responsible for Kinokuniya store design, not only in Singapore but also for its flagships in such cities as Dubai, Sapporo and Sydney.

With its extra space, Kinokuniya has expanded its range of Chinese, French and Japanese titles, and there is also a bigger stationery section, run by NBC, a subsidiary.

The store also stocks official Studio Ghibli merchandise from the Japanese animation film company.

Kinokuniya opened its first store outside of Japan and US in Liang Court Shopping Centre in Singapore in 1983.

There are now 30 stores outside Japan, including Indonesia and Myanmar.

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