National Book Store, the country’s largest retail store for books and school and office supplies, is opening its own institution for higher learning.
Targeted to open in time for the 2018-2019 school year, NBS College will offer courses on Accountancy, Accounting Information System, Entrepreneurship, Computer Science, Library
The school is located at the National Book Store building on the corner of Quezon Avenue and Scout Borromeo in Quezon City. With about 5,000 square meters of space, NBS College will initially have at least seven classrooms, two computer laboratories, a business simulation room, a
Additional space for expansion is available when the time comes.
The college was incorporated in 2017. It’s the next step in National Book Store's core mission of improving education in the Philippines. To learn more about the institution, visit its official website here.
Founded in 1942 by Jose and Socorro Ramos, National Book Store started out as a simple sari-sari type of store that sold
“I was talking to my
“I think one thing is the store strategy. (My
Ramos-Padilla also credits National Book Store’s ability to respond to customers’ changing needs and tastes through the years. “We were able to evolve,” she said.
Part of this evolution comes in the different store formats. In addition to the regular National Book Store that typically measures about 400 square meters, the company also has National Bookstore Express, a smaller, “convenience store” version that measures 200 square meters or less; Powerbooks, a more traditional
Xandra Ramos-Padilla says they are targeting to open NBS college in time for the 2018-2019 school year
Other accomplishments last year include a new Powerbooks and Noteworthy branch in Podium and another Art Bar in Quezon Avenue.
National Book Store is also a staple presence in nearly every major shopping center in the country. The company’s good relationship with the big mall developers ensures that they get an invitation to open a store in almost every new shopping mall.
“I think another reason why National Bookstore has been so successful is we offer a unique combination of all our product lines that kind of work together,” she added. “Very few stores around the world are both. There’s WHSmith in the UK, Domain in Australia and B2S in Thailand.”
National Book Store has over 220 branches this year, with more new stores and concepts coming
Ramos-Padilla added that the company already has an online presence to complement its existing brick-and-mortar store network. It’s part of their strategy of providing a synergy between online and offline channels for the convenience of their customers.
“We have stores where you can browse, touch, feel and experience the store, and we also have online where you can service certain needs. Filipinos love to go malling. It’s so easy to drop by a mall. But our online store is also very convenient. When you already know what to give someone, you can browse our site and you can send it to them.”
The question now is how else to expand a concept and brand that is so ingrained into the consciousness of almost every book and stationery-loving Filipino. Ramos-Padilla said there’s still tremendous room for growth in the country that they’re not really focused on establishing a presence abroad outside of their two stores—Metro Books and Metro Kids—in Hong Kong.
94-year-old Socorro Ramos founded National Book Store in 1942 when she was just 19 years old
“Lola herself was reluctant to grow because she was afraid of losing control,” said Ramos-Padilla. “But by empowering people outside, today we’re growing at 20 stores a year. There was even a year when it was 38 stores, I think. When I first started working we had only 40 stores. So it’s a very different feel today. We’re quite busy.”
Paul John Caña is the managing editor of Entrepreneur PH.
This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.