I have been a Popular member more than a decade ago. Before their introduction of their three-years membership, I renewed it year after year. Being a member, the renewal fee is RM 10 per year. Members usually get a minimum 10% discount for white tag books and items in Popular. This implies that if you are one that purchases more than RM 100 per year on books (and stationary), it is definitely worth being a member of Popular.
Given that the government provides a tax relief on the purchase of books up to RM 1,000, I am definitely spending more than RM 100 per year and therefore continues to support Popular membership club. I have made abundance of savings in more than a decade. . And, they are rather flexible as well – sometimes, my mum just asked me for my membership number, and she gets the members’ discount too.
The potential setback about Popular compared to some other chain book stores like MPH and Borders is that the variety of books could be limited, especially if you visit more rural areas Popular stores. They have fewer titles compared to those bookstores. But over the years, I have seen Popular bookstores improving in this area. Also, I have yet to see them having a computer for customers to browse for titles; instead, customers have to get to their customer service department to seek for assistance.
In addition, when renewing the membership, most of my encounters need to wait more than a month for the card to come. Each time, if I don’t remember wrongly, I need to call up their customer care center to enquire. The recent one, which happen a year ago, when I renewed my card for three years, the card went missing in the post and they reprinted it, which I then collected from their Sunway outlet. I hope I won’t encounter such issue in my next renewal, next year.