We Are POPULAR
Because of You

 
Milestones

1924

POPULAR's history began in Singapore, under the trade name Cheng Hing Company. It distributed Chinese storybooks and picture books, an early start of what is now the present POPULAR Group.

1934

World Book Company was established in Singapore to distribute Chinese books and publish Chinese magazines and books. It was widely recognized as one of the leading Chinese book publishers, retailers and distributors in Singapore and Malaysia.

1936

Popular Book Company was established in Singapore as a retail channel for Chinese books.

1949

World Publishing Company was established in Hong Kong to publish magazines and Chinese books for the local and Southeast Asian markets.

1950

Educational Publishing House (‘EPH’) was established in Hong Kong, China, principally to publish pre-school and primary textbooks and teaching materials. EPH further expanded its market when it began to publish secondary textbooks in 2009. Today, EPH is one of the market leaders in Hong Kong textbook publishing. EPH set up offices in Singapore (1996), Malaysia (1998) and Macau, China (2000). All EPH publishing houses are recognised publishers of a variety of textbooks and supplementary materials.

1952

The Commercial Press, Chung Hwa Book Co., Shanghai Book Co., World Book Co. and Nanyang Book Co. joined forces to set up United Publishing House (‘UPH’) in Singapore and Malaysia to publish primary textbooks. UPH Singapore became part of POPULAR's Educational Publishing House Pte Ltd in Singapore in 1996.

1970

The very first HARRIS bookstore was opened in Hong Kong, China and it was Hong Kong’s premier English bookstore in its time. In 2006, the next chapter began for HARRIS with the opening of stores in Malaysia and Singapore. Today, HARRIS is an established English Bookstore in Malaysia.

1980

POPULAR's flagship store, the largest bookstore in Southeast Asia, was opened in Singapore's Bras Basah complex. It marked POPULAR's successful venture into the bilingual retail book business. Today, POPULAR is the largest bookstore chain in Southeast Asia, with more than 100 retail stores across Singapore and Malaysia.

1984

The first POPULAR bookstore in Malaysia was opened in Kuala Lumpur. POPULAR's expansion within Malaysia started in 1990, and by 1996, POPULAR Malaysia had extended to East Malaysia. 2003 marked the opening of its first megastore in Damansara PJ, and today, POPULAR Malaysia has a total of five megastores, all strategically located across the Klang Valley, Penang, and Johor Bahru, in response to increasing customer demand in these areas.

1990

The POPULAR loyalty card was introduced. Today, there are almost 1 million POPULAR members in Singapore and Malaysia. POPULAR Singapore launched a brand-new POPULAR Card to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2009.

1991

The brand ‘CD-RAMA’ was launched for the retail sale of music and audio products by POPULAR Singapore (1991), POPULAR Malaysia (1992), and POPULAR Hong Kong (1992).

1994

Incorporated as Popular Book Company (Canada) Limited in Toronto, Canada, it is today one of the key educational workbook publishers in Canada.

1997

Popular Holdings Limited was listed on the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange.

1998

Pan Lloyds Publishers Limited was set up to focus on supplementary materials for exam preparation and home learning. Today, Pan Lloyds is the market leader in educational supplementary publishing in Hong Kong, China, with a wide range of products serving both the primary and secondary sectors.

1999

POPULAR moved into a new headquarters at 20 Old Toh Tuck Road in Singapore, and the purchasing office in Taiwan was set up. Following healthy growth in the Taiwan business, Popular Book Company Ltd was incorporated in 2003.

POPULAR Hong Kong launched an online bookstore, making it a pioneer in the e-commerce business.

2001

Popular e-Learning Holdings Pte Ltd (PeLH) was incorporated in Singapore to provide content-rich, digital educational products, and online services. In collaboration with government agencies and key industry partners, PeLH provides a variety of digital and multimedia resources to integrate IT into the curriculum.

2004

PopularWorld (Beijing) Limited, a wholly-subsidiary, was set up to start the development of pre-school education in the China market.

2006

POPULAR successfully organised the inaugural BookFest@Singapore and BookFest@Malaysia, followed by BookFest@Hong Kong in 2008. Today, the BookFest is a major annual book industry event in Singapore and Malaysia.

2007

Seashore Publishing (M) Sdn Bhd was established in Malaysia to strengthen POPULAR's presence in Southeast Asia through the publishing of bilingual general books.

2009

POPULAR opened UrbanWrite, a new concept-stationery store. In the same year, POPULAR also launched a new concept-bookstore, {prologue}, in the prestigious ION Orchard mall in Singapore.

2011

Popular Holdings Limited was ranked as a 'Singapore International 100 Company'.

2012

JumpStart Publishers was established in July to increase POPULAR’s market share in the educational supplementary materials market in Hong Kong.

Kam Pui’s new imprint, ‘Ichiban’, was launched. Targeting young people, it publishes titles on contemporary topics, achieving excellent sales results.

2013

EduSmart Learning Centre was set up to develop the new business of child education in Hong Kong, China.

POPULAR Card membership in Malaysia reached the 1,000,000 mark in August.

POPULAR Singapore acquired the American multinational book and music retailer, Borders, and renamed it POPULAR.

2014

POPULAR finalised a licensing agreement with BBC Worldwide (‘BCCW’) for some BCCW brands and intellectual property to be used in POPULAR-run English language learning centres in Hong Kong and Mainland China. To facilitate the smooth operation of the business, Popular (Shanghai) Company Limited — a wholly-owned foreign enterprise was incorporated and started its operation in Pudong, Shanghai.

A & I published Interactive General Studies in May for primary schools in Hong Kong. It was among the first batch of e-textbooks to be officially incorporated into the Hong Kong Education Bureau’s Recommended e-Textbook List.

POPULAR Taiwan established Polis Press in August in 2014, embarking on the journey to disperse the seeds of Chinese culture far and wide.

2015

POPULAR was ranked among the Top 100 Brands in Singapore by Brand Finance for four consecutive years since 2012.

The first CBeebies English Learning Centre was officially opened in September 2015 in Shanghai, which marked a new chapter in the Education business for POPULAR.

POPULAR Malaysia launched its POPULAR Online e-commerce business, and gradually expanded its offerings to include Chinese, English, and Malay books. In 2020, it also completed the expansion with the addition of Stationery and Gadgets & IT products.

2017


POPULAR Hong Kong, which includes the Pan Lloyds Group, Kam Pui Enterprises Limited and Popular Book Company Limited, was the key exhibitor in the Hong Kong Book Fair.

2018

POPULAR Singapore launched a network of New Generation stores in 15 locations across Singapore. The New Generation stores boast sleek and modern furnishings, unparalleled service, and a rejuvenated range of merchandise. The new POPULAR Bookstore in Singapore Management University kickstarted the launch of self-checkout kiosks across our all our retail stores.

Pan Lloyds in Hong Kong, China marked its 20th Anniversary with celebrations embracing the theme, ‘Soaring beyond 2.0, Pan Lloyds’ New Milestone’.

2019

POPULAR celebrated its 95th anniversary with the theme ’POPULAR Assures 众望所依’. In commemoration of this milestone, POPULAR Singapore kickstarted its year-long celebration in 2018 with the launch of the POPULAR SG App, with the POPULAR e-Card subsequently launched on the app in 2019. POPULAR Malaysia also launched its own POPULAR MY App, as well as the 95th Anniversary Limited Edition on POPULAR Membership Card.

POPULAR Malaysia opened its 100th store in AEON Mall Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, in August 2019. As the first ‘AEON Style’ mall in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, the newly-refurbished modern mall is strategically located in an integrated development area with a potential market reach of more than 700,000, alongside an accessible public transport system.

2020

EduSmart was officially renamed Popular Learning. Positioning itself as "Hong Kong's Education Curricula Expert's", Popular Learning offers pre-school and primary Chinese, English, and Mathematics programmes that are closely aligned with Hong Kong’s education curricula.

2021

POPULAR Singapore launched its wholly-owned e-commerce business, POPULAR Online — a step forward in its endeavour to become an omni-channel retailer.

2023

Mr Chou Cheng Ngok, son of POPULAR’s founder, Mr Chou Sing Chu, retired officially and stepped down from his positions as Group CEO and Executive Director of Popular Holdings Limited. Mr Yiu Chi Shing succeeded him and was officially appointed as the Chairman and Group CEO.

2024

POPULAR Bookstore celebrates its 100th Anniversary with the theme, ‘A Century of Wisdom 百年树人’.

 
 

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