Japan’s Tsutaya eyes Asean rollout, starting in Malaysia

(Source: Tsutaya Bookstore)

Japanese retailer Tsutaya Bookstore is set to make its Southeast Asian debut with its first store in Malaysia in April and plans 55 stores nationwide by the early 2030s. 

Owned by Culture Convenience Club, Tsutaya Bookstore Malaysia will be franchised under a joint venture between local firm Global Oriental and Japanese trading house Sojitz. The first store will open inside Kuala Lumpur’s newest shopping mall Pavilion Bukit Jalil. 

The company currently has 1200 outlets in Japan and nine in Taiwan and Mainland China, where it debuted in 2020, and reportedly plans to roll out 1100 over time. The Malaysian debut is the forerunner to a wider Southeast Asian focus by the company, but just which markets it plans to make a priority has not yet been revealed. 

Under the theme ‘Cultivate Lifestyle & Culture’, the Tsutaya Bookstore at Bukit Jalil will incorporate an upmarket bookstore offer and a cafe, taking up about 2650sqm of floorspace. Besides books, the store will also merchandise stationery and other goods.

Tsutaya is one of the latest international bookstore chains to join the growing Malaysian book market. Last year, the Taiwanese chain, Eslite, announced plans to launch its first Malaysian store in the refurbished The Starhill this year, marking its first foray into Southeast Asia.

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