In 2019, the idea of going to a bookstore to browse the shelves and purchase a book seems almost quaint. To survive in an Amazon world, stores have to offer more than something to read; they have to give shoppers an experience that can't be replicated online.
Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya stands out from its competition with its innovative mix of products. The company recently opened its 14th American store in NewQuest Properties' Katy Grand shopping center; it joins three other Texas locations, including the Dallas suburbs of Plano and Carrollton as well as one in Austin.
Shopping will find both English and Japanese language books in a wide variety of topics. The store is best known for its extensive anime and manga selection. A CultureMap contributor also noted the extensive selection of paper goods, stationary, and pens, including Kinokuniya's exclusive collaboration items with popular Japanese brands.
In addition to books, the store hosts a variety of events, from book signings to horror storytelling sessions to anime meet-ups. The store's "Makerspace" will host workshops, presentations, and other interactive experiences.
"With so many young families in Katy, this is giving children a different cultural experience," NewQuest development partner Heather Nguyen said in a statement. "It will give local bookworms and the culturally curious far more than what is typically found in a bookstore. "It's an adventure going into Kinokuniya."
Already home to a Cinemark movie theater and a location of Taiwanese coffee shop 85° C Bakery & Café, Katy Grand will welcome another location of Kura Revolving Sushi later this month. Tim Ho Wan, a Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant from Hong Kong, will open in February.