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Oxford Bookstore to expand chain

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Small format stores also on cards

MS PRITI PAUL
MS PRITI PAUL

R. Ravikumar

Chennai, Oct. 9

The Apeejay Surrendra Group, a business house with interests in sectors as varied as tea to shipping, hospitality to retail, plans to expand its chain of bookstores, Oxford Bookstore, across the country.

Chennai facility

It opened its first Chennai outlet recently. The new store, spread over 7,000 sq. ft, claims to stock over 70,000 titles spread over 45 sections along with gifts, a gallery space, Internet facilities and Cha Bar, which according to the company, "is a space that narrates the complete tea story and offers a range of teas from the world over, is a part of the store experience".

It also houses a special section for kids.

"With this, we have done with our plans of opening large-format stores in major cities. In future, all our new stores will be in the franchisee model. We have already signed up for five such franchisee outlets in cities including Coimbatore, Patna, Shillong and Mysore," says Ms Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group.

According to Ms Paul, the group plans to double its number of outlets every year. The group's other stores are in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Goa.

Express outlets

Apart from these large format stores, the group also opened two "express" outlets one each in Bangalore and Mumbai recently. "We also plan more such stores in the months to come," says Ms Paul. According to her, `express' outlets will be small-format ones spread over 200 to 700 sq.ft.

It also opened a bookstore for children Oxford Junior in Kolkata in August. Says Mr Rajiv Chowdhry, CEO, Apeejay Oxford Bookstores Pvt Ltd, "We believe that reading is a great stress buster and should be a habit that we should encourage among children."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 10, 2006)
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