Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Starhill welcomes Taiwan's eslite spectrum (誠品生活), aka the World's Coolest Bookstore in 2022

How many of us here longs for the days when we can visit Taiwan once more for our fill of bubble tea and late night shopping at eslite spectrum? Well, to sate that itch for some Taiwan style shopping, the iconic Starhill in Bukit Bintang is partnering up with eslite spectrum to open its first ever eslite branch in Southeast Asia.

This announcement follows the signing of a tenancy agreement between Mr Joseph Yeoh, Vice President of YTL Land & Development Bhd and Ms Mercy Wu, Chairperson of the eslite Group today. Not just a bookstore, eslite spectrum will be a creative cultural venue with a rich selection of Chinese, English and Malay language books, as well as music, design and hand-made goods, performing arts, themed restaurants and coffee shops, lifestyle brands, and diverse cutting-edge cultural and creative brands. The focus will be on showcasing the dynamism and vibrant energy of cross-cultural and creative exchange between Malaysia and Taiwan.

Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the 70,191 sq ft store will become The Starhill’s anchor tenant, commanding the entire Level 1 space and also including a street-fronting F&B outlet on the Ground Level right next to The Starhill Piazza where creative events and programmes will be staged all year round. The flagship store will also feature a sweeping café terrace on Level 1 overlooking The Starhill Piazza fronting the bustling Jalan Bukit Bintang – perfect for patrons to gather, connect and people watch. An exclusive escalator is also strategically placed to bring shoppers directly from The Starhill’s new entrance atrium to eslite spectrum upstairs.

As a renowned Taiwanese cultural icon, eslite spectrum had been chosen by Time Magazine and CNN as "Asia's Best Bookstore" and “World’s Coolest Bookstore”. The eslite spectrum Songyan store in Taipei was also named among the “14 Coolest department stores in the world” by CNN. eslite spectrum is considered THE quintessentially Taiwanese store by Taiwanese and tourists alike – a must visit-shop-dine destination for visitors to Taiwan. Set against the backdrop of the prestigious Pavillion Shopping Mall and the historical Lot 10, eslite spectrum will be a game changer in the Kuala Lumpur retail landscape. It aims to provide fresh ideas for the retail experience and co-creating with Malaysians by presenting the crème de la crème of Taiwan’s diverse offerings and warm hospitality to Malaysia, right at The Starhill. 

“We are truly honoured to welcome eslite as our long term partner for The Starhill. With eslite spectrum taking pride of place as the anchor tenant, we are realising our vision of anchoring a lifestyle library as the heart of the Home of the Tastemakers where patrons can meet, gather and connect over shared interests in a new collective living space. They are a match made-in-heaven for The Starhill’s plan to create KL’s ultimate premium social destination for all to celebrate literature, the arts, fashion, design, music, food and creative events. We cannot be more excited to witness its opening which will truly complement the distinctive experience of The Starhill that focuses on differentiated retail experiences, embodied by one-of-a-kind concepts by exclusive brands in Kuala Lumpur,” said Mr Joseph Yeoh, Vice President of YTL Land & Development Bhd. 

“eslite was founded in 1989. Our core values lie in the desire of ‘integrating the humanities, arts and creativity into life,’ and in the importance of venues with ‘the spirit of the place.’ From Taiwan to the Chinese community and then Asia, we are very excited to establish a new flagship branch, the first store in Southeast Asia, in the capital of Malaysia. eslite is committed to becoming the most influential, unique, omni-channel, cultural tourism brand and a platform for the cultural and creative industry in the Chinese community and Asia,” said Ms Mercy Wu, Chairperson of eslite Group. 

“Through this Kuala Lumpur store, we hope to promote exchanges and interaction involving Asian publications and the cultural and creative content of the region. eslite's founder, Mr Robert C. Y. Wu, once said ‘eslite's ultimate concern is people; the most valuable asset of a city is its people; and the most beautiful scenery in any city is its people.’ eslite, together with the local people of Malaysia, will create new possibilities. We hope that with long-term careful planning and development, it will become a beacon for cultural exchange in Southeast Asia!” 

If you're wondering how do they intend to open in the post-Covid world, not to worry yet as they have plenty of time to sort out their SOPs for when the doors open in 2022. More information on the new store will be revealed in due time.

So for now, with Don Quijoxte set to open up at Lot 10 just down the road, it looks like Bukit Bintang is looking to be the place to be in the near future. A future with hopefully a Covid19 vaccine in sight. 

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