The Starhill is welcoming the renowned eslite spectrum (誠品生活) by the eslite Group, which innovatively created the world’s first 24-hour bookstore, from Taiwan to Kuala Lumpur in 2022 – their first-ever eslite branch in Southeast Asia, following 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. eslite spectrum will be a game changer in the Kuala Lumpur retail landscape, providing 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 here 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. eslite spectrum epitomises the discerning taste of a true Tastemaker, being a seasoned retail player which has constantly set new benchmarks and delivered a slew of first-evers in creative retail concepts and experiences, besides offering a thriving platform for creators of cultural content. 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.
He added that the eslite Group is a kindred spirit to the YTL Group, with a mutual commitment to the power of education and the value of books as vehicles for cultural and creative exchange. “This is a deeply meaningful partnership between two family businesses with a rich heritage and passion for education and knowledge as drivers of change. I believe this partnership can potentially be a catalyst for a deeper cultural exchange between Malaysia and Taiwan through retail experiences and a community-oriented store that reach a wider audience across all ages and demographics,” Joseph said.
“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.’ That is, through the interaction of space, activities and people, eslite hopes to create ‘the possibility of people encountering their own spirit within its spaces.’ 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.
She added: “Through this Kuala Lumpur store, we hope to promote exchanges and interaction involving Asian publications and the cultural and creative content of the region. We also wish to create more opportunities for cross-regional dialogue between Taiwanese and Malaysian writers and their works, and present readers with novel reading perspectives. Malaysia is an exciting country, with its own characteristic design aesthetics and cultural creativity, and we look forward to integrating the multi-ethnic and cross-cultural characteristics of Southeast Asia, and inspiring exciting diversified creativity in our store.”
“We look forward and feel excited about embarking on this journey in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysians have been Taiwan’s top tourist segment from Southeast Asia for 10 consecutive years and are strong supporters of our stores in Taiwan. Additionally, YTL has vast local and international development and management experience and we also feel a special kinship to them as the YTL family ancestors have roots in Kinmen, Taiwan. We are thankful to have YTL as a partner in bringing to life our concept and vision for development in Malaysia. 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!”
eslite spectrum is targeted to open its doors in The Starhill by 2022.