Being rooted in Hong Kong for over 7 decades, POPULAR has been devoted to providing best quality educational services for students in Hong Kong. The main business scope of the Group includes education, publishing and related retail businesses.
The Group publishes high quality educational materials, supplementary workbooks, exam practices materials, e-books, educational platform resources and various kinds of books for teachers and students, in order to facilitate the all-round development of students. Utilising our profound knowledge in the publishing business in Hong Kong, we have expanded into the learning centre service industry. With our extensive educational resources, we implement an up-to-date electronic education model to enhance the learning effectiveness and outcomes of students in Hong Kong.
Recently, we took the initiative to develop an electronic retail platform to facilitate the inheritance of knowledge and culture. Furthermore, we aim to raise the standards of educational services by introducing innovations to the education industry so that we can lead Hong Kong students to build the future together.
World Publishing Company ("World") was incorporated. In its early years, the company’s main business was supplying Chinese books to the Southeast Asian market. In the late fifties, World set up its publishing department at 3/F, 60 Connaught Road Central, publishing lifestyle magazines, children’s magazines, and Chinese books.
Educational Publishing House (‘EPH’) was established, focusing on publishing pre-school and primary educational materials, children’s books, exam practice materials for primary and secondary schools, supplementary workbooks for pre-school and primary levels, as well as summer vacation workbooks. In 1960, EPH was registered as a limited company.
Seashore Publishing Company (‘Seashore’) was set up at 4/F, 56 Connaught Road, Central. The first series produced was the Seashore Stories Series, which ushered in the new trend of romance novels.
In 1960, Seashore published the fortnightly Ladies & Home, which became the most popular women’s magazine in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. The achieving sales was over 100,000 copies per issue at its peak.
Yuk Choi Bookstore was set up, and has since become the sole agent for all EPH publications.
World began the fortnightly Good Children’s Pictorial for primary school children, featuring rich and colourful content. It included a ‘Reader’s Corner’, which encouraged young readers to submit their creative writing.
POPULAR Hong Kong acquired the Harris Book Company Ltd ("Harris"), which operated at Shop 115 in the Prince’s Building selling English books. In 1983, another Harris bookstore was opened at Shop 110, and this store also sold stationery.
In 1973, Seashore cooperated with TVE (Holdings) Limited to publish the first Chinese colour cookbook in Hong Kong - 珍饈百味 , with sales volume reaching 100,000 copies per journal.
POPULAR’s first bookstore in Hong Kong, World Publishing Company (‘World’), mainly selling educational textbooks, was opened at 24 Percival Street, Causeway Bay. Two years later, the bookstore was relocated to Shop 120.
Kam Pui Enterprises Limited ("Kam Pui") was established. World and Seashore became the publishing and distribution brands of Kam Pui. In the mid-seventies, World and Seashore continued to publish numerous books. World’s list included various kinds of leisure and practical books, while Seashore, in addition to the magazine Ladies & Home, focused on cookbooks and horoscope books.
POPULAR Hong Kong’s headquarters moved from Tung Kin Factory Building, Tsat Tsz Mui Road, North Point to its existing premises in Tsuen Wan Industrial Centre in Texaco Road, Tsuen Wan. At that time, there were only a few dozen employees, with office and warehouse space taking up a total of 22,600 square feet. By 2021, the POPULAR Hong Kong staff force in Tsuen Wan had grown to its present size of 500 employees and the total area occupied today stands at 99,000 square feet.
World’s retail outlet was opened in KCRC House, Shatin, and CD Rama, the first division of POPULAR selling music and audio products, was established.
EPH launched the first Kindergarten Resource Package, which was a notable success and gained a seventy percent market share. Over the years, EPH has maintained its position as the market leader for pre-school publications and its current strength can actually be traced back to the early success of the Kindergarten Resource Package.
The pocket books on oral English by World and Seashore’s primary-level supplementary workbook series in Chinese, English and Mathematics, 26 Weeks, became very popular and was the best selling supplementary workbook. It is still a well-received series among schools and parents today.
POPULAR Hong Kong began publishing books on Metaphysics, horoscopes, and Chinese zodiac under Universal Publishing Company, another Kam Pui's subsidiary.
The retail business expanded to shopping centres on housing estates. The first outlet opened in Oi Man Shopping Centre, Ho Man Tin.
The trade names for all bookstores in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong were standardised as "POPULAR".
POPULAR Hong Kong opened its first lifestyle mega-bookstore, Book City, in Whampoa Garden, Hunghom. The total area was 44,000 square feet, of which 13,000 square feet became the ‘Gourmet Delite’ food court in December 1996. It was a very revolutionary lifestyle retail concept at that time.
Pan Lloyds Publishers Ltd (‘Pan Lloyds’) was established to publish high-quality supplementary teaching materials and workbooks for Hong Kong and Macau markets.
In 1991, POPULAR Hong Kong began expanding its retail business to shopping centres on housing estates, and had as many as eighteen shops at its peak. In 1998, we placed our footsteps into first-tier shopping malls and our very first store was launched in New Town Plaza in Shatin. The second one was in Grand Century Place, Mongkok.
EPH Macau was incorporated to publish pre-school and primary teaching materials tailored for schools in Macau. It also took initiative to promote the Group's products to local schools.
Popular e-Learning (HK) Ltd ("PEHK") was set up to support EPH and Pan Lloyds in developing comprehensive e-learning packages for their publications.
In keeping up with new retail trends, POPULAR launched its own online bookshop.
EPH launched two series of General Studies textbooks, New General Studies and General Studies Today, further affirming EPH’s enviable status in the primary school market.
In 2003, the English Publishing Department of EPH was established officially. EPH launched Step Up and My Pals are Here! English for Hong Kong in 2005. These publications represented EPH’s first foray into the primary English textbook market since the eighties, which enabled the company to ultimately become the most prolific primary school textbook publisher in the market.
EPH’s Pre-school Step Up Picture Dictionary with i-Pen functions was developed by PEHK. The i-Pen’s read-aloud function and built-in interactive games help to enhance readers’ biliterate and trilingual abilities. The i-Pen is now in its fourth edition, with built-in recording function.
Pan Lloyds pioneered seminars for the Hong Kong Attainment Tests ("HKAT"), and was the first publisher to publish mock exam papers for the HKAT in English, Chinese and Mathematics. The total sales of the three series exceeded 100,000 copies. This great achievement has earned Pan Lloyds a reputation as an expert in assessment materials for public exams.
In 2004, PopularWorld (Beijing) Limited was established in Beijing to develop the pre-school education market in Mainland China. In 2008, EPH’s Creative Learning Package was revised to a Mainland China edition, and was renamed Creative Learning Curriculum for Pre-school Children. It was the cornerstone of POPULAR’s entry into the pre-school market in Mainland China.
In December, the inaugural Bookfest@Hong Kong was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, occupying 61,000 square feet of floor space. POPULAR’s mission was to promote a reading culture and encourage more people to read through its theme, "One Book One World".
Ichiban Book, the new brand under Kam Pui, focusing on the pulse of the community as well as hot topics in the city, was established. Our authors are from all walks of life, and the content is appealing and practical. For example, 第一次下廚就成功！！, the cookbook from the celebrity Joey Leung Cho Yiu, and books about a pet star, 我係尖東忌廉哥 and 忌廉雞湯, all of which have achieved excellent sales results.
JumpStart Publishers Ltd was set up in July to further enhance POPULAR’s market presence in the supplementary workbook market. JumpStart and Pan Lloyds complement each other in the continuous expansion of the market share.
POPULAR Hong Kong was awarded the Caring Company by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, as a recognition of our commitment in corporate social responsibility.
EPH and PEHK launched the e-Smart learning management system. It covered the core subjects including Chinese, English, Mathematics and General Studies, and provided a new interactive experience for the education sector through various teaching and learning tools. At the same time, brand new cross-platform e-textbooks were developed, integrating technology and learning to allow schools to remain abreast of the latest e-learning trends.
A & I launched a new primary e-textbook series 數碼教育新世代 for IT in schools to help students equip themselves with the IT knowledge necessary to face the challenges of the new digital age.
EduSmart Learning Centres ("EduSmart") was incorporated. With innovative, flexible and interactive teaching concepts and methodologies, EduSmart offers strong pre-school and primary Mathematics and English courses which help to cultivate a new generation of first-rate students. EduSmart is also incorporating e-learning resources into its courses to ensure that every student can enjoy learning with improved academic results.
Manpower training and development is the core part of our company culture. In 2014, POPULAR was honoured as a Manpower Developer under the Employees Retraining Board’s Manpower Developer Award Scheme.
With the full support from PEHK, EPH launched the kindergarten electronic learning platform KiddieWorld. The platform further evolved as a cross-platform system that led a new trend for online learning for pre-schoolers.
POPULAR Taiwan launched a new brand "Polis Press" that published children's books to explore the education market in Taiwan. It also set a new milestone for the publishing business of POPULAR Taiwan. Among all the titles, the "X Series" was well received and became the best-selling children books in Taiwan.
In September 2015, POPULAR established the first CBeebies English Learning Centre in Pudong Shanghai which opened a brand new chapter for POPULAR's education business.
Seashore published the "Best of the Best" cookbook series, with sales volume reaching 100,000 copies in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. It formed the prologue to the POPULAR regional publishing business.
In 2014, EPH launched an electronic educational platform - KiddieWorld, and in 2015, the platform achieved great success by winning "Best Lifestyle (Learning & Living) Bronze Award" in the Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology Awards.
WonderKids Publisher, an affiliate of EPH, was established in 2015. It published educational materials and books that matched the interests and abilities of preschool children.
EPH stepped into the digital era to meet the rising market demands for electronic management systems. It provided an electronic educational platform and classroom system to support and reinforce the teaching and management efficiency in schools, which further promoted the service standard of the EPH.
Pan Lloyds won a good reputation in the Hong Kong Book Fair and was honoured as the "Top 10 Booths of Hong Kong Book Fair".
EduSmart received the Smart Parents' Choice - Brand Awards from Smart Parents (a journal in Hong Kong with the highest circulation) for two consecutive years. Its distinctive educational method was well received by parents.
In 2016, Pan Lloyds received the "Hong Kong Famous Brands" for the first time and was also the first-ever local publisher to receive the award. This achievement further fortified the POPULAR Group as the leading company in the industry. Since then, Pan Lloyds has received the award for five consecutive years, and still stands out from the rest.
KiddieWorld won the "Top 10 Meritorious Websites" presented by the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration.
EPH launched eph Mall, a brand new online shopping platform for parents and customers to enjoy a prestigious and convenient shopping experience.
EduSmart was honoured with the "Mother Award" presented by TVB Weekly, being the favourite learning centre among mothers.
POPULAR US published the first supplementary workbook series "365 Fun Days". Along with the evergreen products of POPULAR Canada, POPULAR officially entered the US market.
As the rent in the retail industry was rising steadily, the retail business faced tough challenges, and to make matters worse, social unrest and the pandemic in Hong Kong escalated the situation. In March 2020, the management decided to terminate the retail business in Hong Kong and allocated our resources to focus on our growing non-retail business. On 18 March 2020, POPULAR Hong Kong decided to terminate the retail business in Hong Kong.
Pan Lloyds revamped the online shopping platform "Pan Lloyds • JumpStart PP Parents Club", which provides members with comprehensive education information, education activities and membership shopping discounts. The number of our members and sales increased more than threefold when compared to before the revamp.
In May 2020, Smart English Company Limited ("Smart English") started to publish children's book series, and in July, it launched an online store verypopularstore.com, featuring its very own publication Robin Education and leisure reading under Kam Pui.
EduSmart Learning Centre was renamed as Popular Learning Centre and our franchising business began. During the same year, with the fame of the brand POPULAR, the Group recruited our first 10 alliances of Popular Learning.