The Popular bookstore in Petaling Street which has served as a landmark for more than a decade is about to close next month.

Popular made the difficult decision of shuttering its 2-storey Lee Rubber Building branch located along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, due to a shift in times and demand. Changes in the surrounding area resulted in a different crowd of customers and the rise of large shopping centres had drawn the crowds away.

Source: Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd
Popular’s senior business development manager Siew Sheue Liang (Source: Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd)

MMO quoted Popular’s senior business development manager Siew Sheue Liang, who has sentimental feelings towards the Petaling Street branch, as saying “the outlet is unable to operate efficiently… The decision is hard as most business owners would not simply give up an old shop.”


In 1983, Popular opened its first shop in Damansara Jaya but poor sales caused the company to move to Jalan Hang Lekir. The success of the Jalan Hang Lekir outlet prompted Singapore-based Popular Holdings Limited chairman Chou Cheng Ngok to open more branches in Kuala Lumpur, expanding Popular to 89 outlets.

Popular Bookstore Petaling Street
The Popular bookstore branch at the Art Deco-style Lee Rubber Building is a familiar landmark in the Petaling Street area. (Source: Choo Choy May via MMO)

The Malaysian Book of Records lists Popular as the largest bookstore chain in Malaysia.

The Popular bookstore branch at Lee Rubber Building in Petaling Street will close on 10th April.

Sources: FMT, Yahoo! Singapore, MMO / Featured image from MMO.

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