KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Taiwan’s renowned bookstore chain Eslite Spectrum is slated to be an anchor tenant at Bukit Bintang’s luxury shopping mall The Starhill in 2022, following the signing of a tenancy agreement between YTL Land & Development Bhd and the Eslite Group today.

In a joint statement, Eslite group chairperson Mercy Wu said by establishing the new flagship branch in Kuala Lumpur, their first store in South-east Asia, Eslite is committed to becoming an influential platform for the cultural and creative industry.

“Eslite Spectrum seeks to be a venue with a rich selection of Chinese, English and Malay language books, as well as music, design and handmade 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,” she said.

The 70,191 sq ft flagship outlet will take up the entire Level 1 of the mall as well as a street-fronting food and beverage outlet on the ground floor.

Meanwhile, YTL Land & Development Bhd vice-president Joseph Yeoh said the Eslite group is a kindred spirit to the YTL group, with a mutual commitment to the value of books as a vehicle 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,” he said.

Eslite Spectrum had been chosen by Time magazine as “Asia’s Best Bookstore” in 2014, and CNN named them “World’s Coolest Bookstore” last year.

The Starhill is a high-end retail asset owned by Singapore-based Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which is a unit under YTL Corp Bhd. — Bernama