SWOT analysis of POPULAR Book Company

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POPULAR Book Company was established in Malaysia in January 1984. Now, it has grown to more than 60 stores national wide. In the following, the SWOT analysis will be done for Popular Bookshop.




  • Strong local store network

As the largest bookstore chain in Malaysia, with over 600,000 square feet of retail space, it has currently a total of 65 POPULAR outlets located nationwide.


  • Merchandise diversification

POPULAR sells a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction and general interest books in English, Chinese and Malay languages, as well as school textbooks and revision books.  In addition, it also offers a large selection of magazines, stationery, multi-media products, gift items and CDs.

  • Featured mega stores

Its four mega stores in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru offer a conducive and relaxing ambience for a whole new reading and browsing experience for all book-lovers, young and old alike.


  • Business diversification

In addition to retailing, POPULAR Book Company (M) Sdn Bhd has 3 other core businesses: book distribution, publishing and e-learning


  • Mature target customer – POP card member

By operation a successful member mechanism, it effectively helps Popular bookshop owns its stable and royal customers.


  • Influential book fair in Malaysia

As the main holder for the largest book fair in Malaysia, Popular bookshop own strong resource advantage and brand building and promoting opportunity.




  • Expanding too fast

Too fast expanding will bring many problems, such as customer purchase power problem due to lack of market research.


  • Rely too much on merchandising

Impact by information technology and internet, the market of traditional paper book will not be such bright as before. How to redistribute the resource to find a new way to hold and develop market is a vital mission.


  • Online selling

Electronic business is taking more and more important position in modern business. It is very essential for Popular to enhance its online service.




  • As development of internet and information technology, traditional book store not only gets on the transition road, but also faces to a big opportunity to develop in new market.


  • Also benefit by the IT, the traditional management system has opportunity to develop, and will become more and more effective and efficient.


  • New opportunity for new business exploitation, such as E-book.


  • Opportunity for Popular Book Company to enhance influence in Asian area by holding influential activities such as book festivals.




  • Treats from present competitor

The main competitor for Popular in Malaysia includes MPH, Borders Bookstores, Kinokuniya Bookstores. These bookstores have their own features to attract customers. Now, they are also actively to do reform or promote new service to develop market.


  • Treats from future competitor

As the development and mature of the online book selling, it is visible that due to entry cost fall down, new competition will join in to the big market cake. Certainly, the competition will be more and more intensive.


  • Treats from substitute products

The substitute product for traditional paper book will be continuing appear and more and more acceptable by public, such E-book, E-dictionary, E-learning products.

Result of the SWOT analysis


From the SWOT analysis, we can see that the POPULAR Book Company is running in a good trend with strong network and business diversification strategy but not without weakness and threats that should keep the management of the company in alert. And for the points that listed above, the strength should be further reinforced and opportunities should be developed with effort while the weakness and threat should be eliminated with good preparation in aware of their existence in the business practices.