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      By Jonathan Tan, Tan Yuxian and Wendy Teo (Singapore) 文:陈汉宗、陈于仙、卓雪棋(新加坡) The Than Bookshop 校园书店,邻里共享 With the ITE-POPULAR Bookshop, POPULAR continues to walk side by side with the society on the learning journey. 大众书局工教院与社区居民携手迈步,在学习路上相佐相伴。  POPULAR’s Tertiary Stores Series 学以众用  The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) is a unique vocational education institution in Singapore that provides pre-employment training to secondary school graduates, and continuing education and training to working adults with a wide range of full-time and traineeship courses. ITE provides graduates with work-ready qualifications leading to job and career advancement opportunities, as well as opportunities for further education and training. ITE has proven itself to be an established local tertiary education institution with a high international standing, one that has also maintained strong ties to the local industries. Two National Icons in One Location ITE’s mission runs close to POPULAR’s commitment to help society learn through reading. Therefore, when ITE College Central became the first tertiary education institute to offer its “Retail Hub” for public tenders in 2013, POPULAR moved swiftly at the opportunity. 4 - popularnews 131 ITE College Central is familiar to many Singaporeans as it has been the venue for the National Day Rally for the last decade. Hence, the ITE-POPULAR Bookshop became one of the pioneer retail outlets established at ITE College Central’s innovative and groundbreaking Retail Hub facility, which was the first such example in the local tertiary education landscape. The ITE- POPULAR Bookshop is a convenient one- stop shopping solution that provides a wide range of products from basic curriculum necessities to a comprehensive range of stationery to meet the students’ learning needs. Novelty items, titbits, best-selling English books and fancy stationery and toys rounded up the extensive offerings in the bookshop, providing a relaxing retail experience for the students away from their demanding academic pursuits. The close proximity of the ITE College Central Retail Hub to a mature heartland community means that the ITE-POPULAR Bookshop is easily accessible for all our customers. The ITE-POPULAR Bookshop is also one of the POPULAR outlets that stays open on weekends, public holidays, and even during school holidays. In essence, the ITE-POPULAR Bookshop serves the school community during school hours and the heartland community after-school hours. The Wellbeing of Our Customers Occupying just 68 square metres, the ITE-POPULAR Bookshop required careful planning to maximise the use of its small space. Getting the right mix of merchandise was also crucial to cater to the diverse needs of our customers that is a made up of both the ITE students and members of the public. The staff given this arduous task was Soh Bee Poh (Mabel). The Head of Central Administration took on the challenge to set up the new ITE-POPULAR bookshop in 2013 even before ITE College Central opened its doors to welcome its first cohort of students. The task for Mabel and her team did not end with the opening of the ITE- 

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