A Study of Service Quality of the Singapore Book Industry
Being a Final Year Project Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Business and Management Studies (Marketing)
In the University of Bradford
By Tan Kian Meng S7723953G
CLASS: BScMM II 99/7
24 FEBRUARY 2001
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First, I would like to thank my supervisor, Mr Justin Kung who gave me his valuable advice throughout the course of this management project.
I wish to express my gratitude to Joey Chew and Hazel Chew for their most valuble help in the completion of this project.
I would like to extend thanks to all the respondents and friends who made this project possible.
ABSTRACT The book industry in Singapore has become more competitive with the entrance of newcomers. Books and Music Store (Borders) came into our retail scene in 1997 while Dymocks, an Australian bookstore joined in last year. Existing book retailers have also been expanding their retail space. This can be seen from the entrance of Kinokuniya Book Stores at Ngee Ann City Shopping Centre in 1999. It is the largest bookstore in Singapore.
From articles obtained through Internet, there exist a service quality issue provided by the booksellers. Consumers have wide choices of selection of reading materials. For instance, they can easily purchase specific reading materials from the Internet. Consumers also have the choice to patronage another competitor’s bookstores. Given all these issues, it thus pose a need for the booksellers to provide quality in service so that their positions can still be competitive.
This project seeks to find out the service attributes that are associated with the patronage of bookstores. I attempt to find out the current service quality standard perceived by customers.
The result of the survey clearly shows that booksellers are performing behind customers’ expectations.
Objectives of this project There are three main objectives for this project. They are: 1. 2. 3. to study the buying behaviour of consumers in visiting a bookstore. To compare the service level among the four major bookstores like MPH, Kinokuniya, Times Tand Borders Study the behaviour of internet buying and the importance of types of benefits that loyalty programs provide.
Introduction/Description of the problem situation After reading a news article on The Straits Times dated 8 April 200 “Battle of the Bookshops”. The reporter compared the services provided by 4 major bookstores in Orchard town area, namely Borders, Kinokuniya, MPH Bookstores, Times The Bookshop and an old favorite secondhand bookstore - Sunny Bookstore (Sunny). The local booksellers have fared badly in terms of service as compared to the foreign booksellers.
Introduction of the Book Industry With the entrance of Borders in 1997 and the Asia Economic Crisis in the next year, these have cause consumer demand to fall and the sales volume in the retail book industry was badly affected.
The regional financial and economic crisis took its tolls on the business in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Singapore faced a weak consumer demand and there was a sharp drop in tourist arrivals. This had strongly affect the sales at many retail outlets. This can be seen in the closure of some outlets at Times The Bookshop.
Times Publishing Limited - Annual Report 1999 commented that the local book industry in Singapore is likely to be further affected the entry of mega-stores which will cause market displacement among the existing book retailers. Thus, for exisiting booksellers to continue their
viabilty in the Singapore book industry, they need to focus on developing good customer relationship and determine the factors that customers would expect from their ideal excelllent bookstore.
The following section will highlight some of the major bookstores in Singapore.