Friday, October 29, 2010

Shopping at Border Wheellock Place Magazines Department and my Thoughts

Hmm, nothing to do again so began touring various bookstores in Singapore checking out whats in store, any new freebies or magazines worth buying etc as well as just plainly wasting my time....LOTSA Time..hehe.
Borders is situated at WheelLock Place beside ION Orchard...widely considered the Bookstore at the other end of Orchard....(Borders,Prologue,Kinokuniya,Times,Harris,Times at Plaza Sg on the other end).
I haven't gone there for a long time, despite me always around Orchard cos I always have trouble finding what I want or when I found it, the condition wasn't that good at Borders. Only recently that I found out that they had a mini revamp that I decided to go there to have a look.
Borders also had a strong marketing campaign to promote its store and I recently saw a Bus in Bugis painted with the colors of Borders.
The place looks much neater compared to the last time I went. They have more information counters with computers to let customers search for the Books that they want to.(Probably to make up for the lack of knowledgeable staff). The magazines shelves were much neater now, maybe due to their NO Browsing Policy recently.(Although I heard it was taken away now and they allowed browsing again) .....HINT...Browse at Borders then buy at Kinokuniya when you made up your mind?? hehehe Just Kidding...!

Okay, back to the topic of magazines...Borders currently carries a huge selection of English(Foreign & Local) + Chinese (Local + Overseas) Magazines some of which is imported direct by Borders themshelves. The selection and range of the English Overseas title is one of the best around Orchard which competing Bookstores struggles to match. Majority of their foreign titles are imported via direct store transfers which accounts for the more expensive prices and slower speed that it reaches the Singapore Store. They usually are niche titles although some major titles are brought in using this method as well. The good thing is that sometimes, they comes with the freebies (UK titles - Benefit Mascara, Cliqnic LipGloss) that are unavailable to the Singapore Market. Borders also complements the difference in the timing by getting some titles from the local sources in order to stay competitive in the market.
The range of the local english titles is about the same as every other bookstores in Singapore although Borders BookStore seldom have promotions or freebies giveaways that are usually available at BookStores such as Kinokuniya.
Borders seldom stock in local chinese titles for the books but magazines is a different case altogether now. Initially stocking only local chinese titles such as Nuyou and Icon, they have began stocking some HongKong Versions of Elle and Marie Claire. I think they also used to carry Taiwanese Magazines such as FHM and VIVI although I did not saw them recently(probably sold out). They also have the Taiwan Agnes B Mook which is recently sold in Singapore. Borders also have a very nice poster letting customers know that they are selling this Mook...(Popular,Prologue,Page One are the other bookstores having the poster)
For Non Members, Borders is offering a straight 10% off their retail price of $40.66 and 20% off for their Borders Card Member (I saw the price drop to $13 per year for the card??)...Seems like a good bargain to me...and it just confirm my hunch that Borders Singapore is slowly aiming the lucrative Chinese Magazine Market and attacking the weakness of the many bookstores in Singapore in a bid to boost up their market share. There are also unconfirm rumours that they are aiming to bring in Chinese titles from Taiwan and HongKong direct (If I am Borders, I probably get from WH Smith in HK)...which I am sure they have the means to...(If other bookstores do not wake up and take notice, God Bless them!)
Overall, I can see the range of Borders increasing, in particular the overseas Chinese Magazines...which made me wonder, a traditionally English Titles only Bookstore (No offence, it used to be caucasian style, which I have no problems with) slowly breaking their mould and blending in to the local market taste in an attempt to gain a bigger foothold in the market and continued to fight for their survival in an already saturated book selling industry...should other Bookstore follow suit and get out of their comfort zone and start to do something instead of maintaining the "I am still the industry No 1 Mindset"?

Hmmm I do not shop at Borders enough to do a more detailed write up(In fact I think this is one of my more sloppy Postings) but I guess that sums up the message that I am trying to put across and let my blog readers see how magazines selling is rapidly changing around Singapore.....


  1. any pictures for this agnes b bag?

  2. u can go kino and check it out they sell also...or can check my earlier postings