Kingston Bookshop turns a new leaf in Portmore
Kingston Bookshop’s new store located at 31 East Trade Way, Portmore Town Centre, officially opened to the public last Saturday.
Bookseller and stationer Kingston Bookshop has pumped roughly $90 million in the build-out of its eighth store in Jamaica.
The bookshop, which has operated in Jamaica since 1974, made what it terms a ‘major investment’ in the renovation and modernisation of a 7,000-square foot building in the city of Portmore.
The development forms part of a greater plan for Kingston Bookshop to set itself apart from local and international competition. What’s more, the book retailer has further diversified its offering to include school uniforms.
“Our store is designed to provide everything needed for school and by schools. For the first time in our history KB will introduce uniforms to its offerings,” Sales and Marketing Manager Damani Johnson said in an e-mailed response to Jamaica Observer queries.
Two years ago Kingston Bookshop diversified into electronic gadgets amid falling demand for its core business of books and stationery. The company added a new arm in August 2015 dubbed RightClick, which supplies mobile phones, tablets, selfie sticks and other electronic gadgets.
“Kingston Bookshop intends on continuing on a path of constant diversification, especially in keeping up with the times of changing taste from the many markets we serve. We intend to increase our offerings for e-books and other electronic media as well as grow our online shopping presence,” he said.
Kingston Bookshop’s new store located at 31 East Trade Way, Portmore Town Centre, officially opened to the public last Saturday. However, the company is planning a formal opening at a date to be announced.
Johnson told the Caribbean Business Report that Kingston Bookshop selected Portmore for its eighth location since the city has one of the largest concentrations of people in the Caribbean, making it an attractive market to serve.
“The demographic is also changing in Portmore with many people desiring a wide range of products and services. We feel that our product offering will meet and exceed those demands while delivering high-quality service,”
He reasoned that the company’s need to create value for its customers is evident in the décor of the building, product offering and the details that went into designing the spaces. Departments of the new branch include print and cyber centre, books, stationery, children’s area and the electronic arm, RightClick.
“Our children’s area is specifically designed to cater to children at varying age groups to not only entertain and engage but to encourage the development of a love for reading.
Kingston Bookshop has employed an additional 22 staff members, 16 of whom are permanent, to carry out operations for the new branch. It brings to total 191 the number of people employed by the company across Kingston and St Catherine.
The branch will feature an 11-seat Cyber Centre capable of printing wide format graphics, internet services, flyers and invitations among others. It will also be outfitted with a contemporary café called the Script Café that will serve light refreshments such as coffee, pastry, sandwiches.
Additionally, Kingston Bookshop will introduce party and wedding supplies at its new location.
“Kingston Bookshop consistently seeks ways to diversify its product range. This store will carry products for weddings, funerals, parties and other events in general. We will eventually introduce to the public an events planning store,” Johnson said.
The bookshop currently has exclusive agency and distribution portfolio of publishing houses in Jamaica for the University Press, the UK-based Nelson Thornes, Macmillan Publishers, Oxford University Press, The Hodder Group, Evans Brothers, Rising Stars and the Trinidad-based Royards Publishing; and stationery manufacturers MonAmi, Stabilo, and Reeves.
The company continues to assert itself as a leading bookseller and stationer within the region.