Business

Tsutaya rental chain opens first 'book cafe' in Taiwan

Kyodo

Tsutaya Co., a major Japanese movie and music rental and bookshop chain, will open its first “book cafe” in Taiwan on Tuesday, company officials said Monday.

The Tsutaya Bookstore in Xinyi, Taipei’s newest trend-setting commercial district, aims to offer a new “lifestyle” for people to enjoy books while sipping coffee, they said.

It marks the first time for Tsutaya to open a book cafe overseas.

On the eve of the bookstore’s opening, the company’s president, Kazuo Nakanishi, said his firm has set the target of opening at least five such stores in Taiwan within the next three years.

Tsutaya teamed up with Cafe Company Inc., another Tokyo-based firm whose businesses include building and operating cafes, and Taiwan’s CMC Magnetics Corp.

“Like the Chinese who like to chat with their friends over tea, we’d like to bond with our Taiwanese friends with coffee in an environment where they can hang out and enjoy a new, leisurely lifestyle,” said Shujiro Kusumoto, president of Cafe Company.

Books and magazines aside, customers will have free internet access, and food, drinks and Japan-made stationery will also be sold at the bookstore on the fifth floor of the Uni-Ustyle Department Store.

Bob Wang, chairman of CMC Magnetics, said they have begun surveying at least a dozen potential locations for the second shop in Taiwan, with Taipei and New Taipei in northern Taiwan and Taichung in central Taiwan topping the list.

“The long-term goal is to venture into the markets in China and Southeast Asia,” he said.

Tsutaya has several such book cafes in Japan, the first of which opened in Tokyo’s Roppongi entertainment district in 2003.

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