About Us

About POPULAR



With the increasing online demands of book lovers, POPULAR has offered a brand new shopping experience for our customers, allowing them full convenience in purchasing books with the click of the mouse.

Besides books, we also provide relevant items such as text and assessment books, stationery, multimedia products and many more at all our retail stores!

 

CORPORATE MILESTONES


1924

POPULAR's history started in Singapore under the trade name of Cheng Hing Company. It distributed Chinese story books and pictures. Cheng Hing Company was merged into World Book Company in 1935.



1934

Established World Book Company in Singapore to distribute Chinese books and publish Chinese magazines and books; in the later half a century, it was widely recognized as one of the leading Chinese book publishers, retailers and distributors in Singapore and Malaysia. World Book Company merged into Popular Book Company in 1994.


1936

Established Popular Book Company in Singapore to retail Chinese books.


1947

The Commercial Press, Chung Hwa Book Co, Shanghai Book Co, World Book Co and Nanyang Book Co jointly set up United Publishing House (UPH) in Singapore and Malaysia to publish primary textbooks. UPH Singapore merged into POPULAR’s Educational Publishing House Pte Ltd in Singapore in 1996.


1949

Set up World Publishing Company in Hong Kong to retail and publish magazines and Chinese books for the local and Southeast Asian markets. “Seashore”, “World” were amongst its imprints. Seashore Publishing was set up to publish and distribute Ladies & Home


1950

Educational Publishing House (EPH) was established in Hong Kong to publish Chinese textbooks. Today, it is one of the market leaders of pre-school and primary textbooks in Hong Kong. EPH further expanded its market with the publishing of primary English textbooks in 2005, and secondary English and Mathematics textbooks in 2009.

EPH set up offices in Singapore (1996), Malaysia (1998) and Macau (1999). All EPH publishing houses are renowned publisher for a variety of textbooks and supplementary materials.




1970

Opened the first HARRIS Bookstore in Hong Kong. HARRIS’ journey restarted years later in Malaysia (2006) and Singapore (2006) and has become an established English bookstore in local markets.


1980

Opened POPULAR Bras Basah, the largest bookstore in Southeast Asia, at Singapore’s Bras Basah Complex. It symbolized POPULAR’s successful transformation into a bilingual bookstore. Today, POPULAR is the largest bookstore chain in Southeast Asia with 143 retail outlets in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.


1984

The first Popular Bookstore was opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. POPULAR’s expansion in Malaysia started in 1990. By 1996, POPULAR Malaysia reached out to East Malaysia.

From 2003, with the opening of its first Mega Store in Damansara PJ, to date POPULAR Malaysia has in total 4 mega stores, strategically located in Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bharu to support the surging customers demand in Malaysia. Today, POPULAR Malaysia is the largest bookstore chain in the country with 68 outlets nationwide.




1990

The POPULAR Card was introduced. Today, there are over 1.5million POPULAR members in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. POPULAR Singapore launched a brand new POPULAR Card to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2009.



1991

The brand “CD-RAMA” was launched to retail music and audio products in POPULAR Singapore (1991), POPULAR Malaysia (1992) and POPULAR Hong Kong (1992).



1992

In line with the group’s initiatives to consolidate all book retail operations under the name of POPULAR, all retail businesses in Hong Kong, including World Publishing Company and HARRIS (Hong Kong) were consolidated under the name of POPULAR. POPULAR Hong Kong expanded its operations through penetrating government housing estate and later moving into shopping centers in both urban and suburban areas. It opened the largest single-story megastore, POPULAR Megabox in 2007. Currently, there are 15 Popular outlets in Hong Kong.


1994

Incorporated Popular Book Company (Canada) Limited in Toronto, Canada, to publish assessment materials for the Canadian market. Today, it is one of the key educational books publishers in Canada.


1997

Popular Holdings Limited (“POPULAR”) was listed on the main board of The Singapore Exchange.





1999

POPULAR moved into its new headquarters at 20 Old Toh Tuck Road.

Set up buying office in Taiwan. As the business grew, Popular Book Co.Ltd was incorporated in 2003. It is now the single largest Chinese books exporter in Taiwan.



2001

Popular e-Learning Holdings Pte Ltd (PeLH) was incorporated in Singapore to provide content rich digital media educational products and online services. Riding on its extensive experience in transforming conventional print contents into digital formats, PeLH collaborated with its key industry partners such as Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore, key local textbook publishers and Singapore Ministry of Education to provide various digital contents and multimedia resources and to integrate IT into the curriculum. As part of Popular’s e-learning consortium, the Group incorporated Popular e-Learning (H.K.) Limited in Hong Kong and Cyber Progress Information Technology Limited in Guangzhou, China to focus on and develop e-learning resources and educational components for pre-primary and primary school markets. With their know-how, EPH became the very first educational publisher to launch e-books and e-components in Hong Kong in 2001. The innovative initiatives included launching the first set of primary Math Textbooks developed with “Living Textbook” Engine (2001), i-pen (2005) and the corresponding compatible teaching and learning resources “Step Up Through Reading”, as well as online e-learning platform “Exploring the Learning World” (2007). In 2008, the Group partnered with City University of Hong Kong to form a Joint Venture company, Active & Independent Education Ltd (“A&I”) and launched a Learning Management Platform, WELNET 1.0 for the Primary school sector. The Group became the majority shareholder of A&I and launched the upgraded version of WELNET 2.0. in 2010. In 2011, PeLH launched a one-stop educational e-assessment solution Go-easel designed for Web, Android Tablet and iPad, a revolutionary step forward to keep in pace with the future of publishing and digitization.




2004

POPULAR made inroads into the book industry in China with the establishment of a joint venture Popular Modern Books Company Limited with the previous China National Publishing Industry Trading Corporation. PopularWorld (Beijing) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary was set up in Beijing. POPULAR is currently the single largest Chinese books exporters in China, coordinating the purchase of Chinese books for the 143 POPULAR bookstores and distribution networks in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

POPULAR acquired Novum Organum Publishing House. Together with the support from POPULAR Taiwan, the move strengthened the distribution network in Singapore and Malaysia.

Incorporated Popular UK Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary in the United Kingdom to engage in publishing, wholesale and distribution of books for the group. It also published the Robin Series.




2006

POPULAR successfully organised the inaugural BookFest@Singapore and BookFest@Malaysia, followed by BookFest@Hong Kong in 2008. Today, the annual BookFest has become a major annual event of the book industries in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Popular Land Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of POPULAR was established to expand into the property market. It had successfully launched One Robin and 18 Shelford. A third project, 8 Raja is under construction and slated for completion by 2013. In 2011, another private residential site at Kampong Bahru Road was acquired for redevelopment by Popular Land Investment Pte Ltd, a new subsidiary under POPULAR’s property development arm.


2007

Seashore Publishing (M) Sdn. Bhd. was established in Malaysia to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia through the publishing of bilingual general books.


2008

In December, POPULAR successfully organised the inaugural BookFest@Hong Kong.


2009

In Singapore, POPULAR opened its new lifestyle concept stationery store, “UrbanWrite”. In the same year, POPULAR also launched a new concept bookstore, {prologue}, in the prestigious ION Orchard.


2011

POPULAR Holdings Limited was ranked one of “Singapore International 100 Company”.

The 6th BookFest@Malaysia was a resounding success with more than 700,000 visitors attended.



2012

With rapid changes in consumer buying patterns, bookstores have to evolve. Epilogue Catering Pte Ltd, a new business entity under POPULAR carries a new vision and mission to integrate the food & beverage elements into our traditional bookstores, to provide lifestyle experience to the shoppers. Two outlets have been opened, one in {prologue} at ION Orchard; the other in {prologue} at Orchard Central.

This is the 15th anniversary of POPULAR being a listed company in Singapore.


2015

POPULAR Holdings Ltd was delisted from The Singapore Exchange on 5 May 2015.