After 15 years of operation in Malaysia’s largest mall, Methodist Publishing House or more commonly known as MPH Bookstore closes its doors for good in 1 Utama Shopping Centre.
The space where the iconic bookstore used to occupy is now entirely boarding up with a heartbreaking message displayed on its storefront.
The sign reads,
“It is with a heavy heart that MPH 1 Utama bids you all GOODBYE.
“THANK YOU for your continuous and loyal support, and for allowing us to be of service to you for these past 15 years.
“We hope to have your continued patronage and to continue to assist you at our newly-revamped online site.”
With the closure of the 1 Utama outlet, the chain would now have less than 30 outlets operation in Malaysia.
In the recent years, brick-and-mortar bookstores in Malaysia have gradually scaled down their operations, possibly due to the rising popularity of digital books and the convenience of online bookstore.
As an example, although Borders bookstore chain’s outpost in Malaysia seem to be holding their ground after the US arm went bankrupt in 2011, the number of Borders outlets in Malaysia are fewer than it used to be, while certain outlets have been sized down in terms of floor space.
Source: Imagine Games
Meanwhile, some bookstore chains have branched out to selling tech accessories, toys, board games, and collectibles to make up for the decline in book sales.
Independent film theatre Amenic Film Space took to Facebook to point out that the closure of MPH’s 1 Utama outlet is ‘a sign of how low our appreciation of the arts have gotten’.
“It always break our hearts to see arts and hobby shops go down.
“It’s a sign of how low our appreciation of the arts have gotten. We demand fresh and new creative work but are unwilling to fork out anything for it.”
Goodbye MPH 1 Utama, you will be missed.