PageOne is one of my favorite bookshops since my school days in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. I remember it’s 1st shop in Marina Square Mall always fascinates me. Not only does it stocks Art and Design books, the shop also exudes an artistic charm with it’s slanted book shelfs.
The book shelfs did distracted me in the beginning as it was pretty hard for someone like me who suffers from motion sickness to have to search for books in an angled manner in that tiny shop. But that’s the character of PageOne. And not many shop in the 90s then have such unique layout and specialises in Art and Design books.
PageOne is a homegrown bookstore which begins in 1983 that grew from that humble little retail shop at Marina Square to a few thousand square feet flagship store in Vivo City, and expanded with branches in China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Taiwan. And through the years, PageOne have expanded its variety of books catering to it’s growing readers demand. It is also a well know destination for Chinese literature and paperbacks.
But as technology progresses and catches up, the traditional paperbacks is starting to loose it’s appeal. Prices of the books at PageOne still remains affordable even though many were overseas imports or hard to find collectors series. PageOne decide to end it’s chapter in Singapore and close it’s flagship store as it’s lease expires in 2012 at Vivo City.
Ironically, PageOne is flourishing overseas while closing it’s doors in Singapore. What saddens me is that we see another successful and established Singapore brand disappearing, not exactly due to the economic crisis but the true fact that landlords in Singapore refuses to lower the rents, but instead raise it to keep pace with the overall rising inflation costs when the economy gets worst next year. One just wonder why no one is stepping in to help our home grown brands stay put in our motherland.
Our government have been encouraging and urging Singaporeans to take ownership of our own ideas and be creative and successful entrepreneurs. Taking pride in many success stories and selling them to foreign talents to entice them to setup businesses in Singapore. However, we see a lack in actual support for Singapore brands or Singaporeans to succeed in our own country. There are not enough straight forward funding for start-ups nor for mature adults. Many funding and support are aimed at fresh graduates, hoping to entice the young ones to be independent which I find it ridiculous as one need to learn on the job from a mentor and gain some hands-on experience before being mature enough to manage your own business. However, in this case with PageOne, I wondered if our government could have step in and lend a hand so our Singapore brand can continue to flourish in it’s motherland.
I will miss popping by PageOne to search for art and design books, or browse through the many hard to find foreign magazines while I wait for my spouse at Vivo City. Anyway, the good folks at PageOne is having a warehouse sale at their warehouse at Kaki Bukit View till 2nd January 2012. For more information, go to www.pageonegroup.com