October 8, 1999.
It’s the date when BOOKOFF USA INC. was established on.
So, this year 2019, it marks our 20th anniversary!!
20 years?! That’s the long long way, isn’t it?
Our first store in the United States, New York store, opened in April 2000 near Grand Central Station on 41st Street.
“Deliver Japanese books to Japanese people living in New York“
That is what we were aiming at the very beginning.
We wanted to deliver the culture of home country to those who are trying various challenges overseas.
Also, since Japanese books were very expensive overseas at that time, we wanted to offer Japanese books in an affordable price.
The city of New York was hit by great sadness in 2001 and we were also in deep sorrow.
But still we tried making a place where people could get relaxed and find good aspects of life.
Gradually we nurtured and built a good relationship with customers who come to the store.
Then, our challenge was taking in California, we launched a store in Los Angeles in 2001.
Since then California became our major state to open BOOKOFF stores.
At first, our major customers were Japanese people, but naturally the number of English-native customers increased.
And these local customers brought us more and more English books, CDs, DVDs and Video games.
Customers also asked us, “Are there stores with more English books?”. So, our focus gradually shifted to “open more stores with more English books!”
In 2009, the first English-item-only store (we call this type of store Global BOOKOFF), Westminster Mall Store opened.
The English books and other items in the store shelves were what we had prepared over 9 years.
The grand opening was on Black Friday at 5 AM.
I still clearly remember the scenes from the opening day; first customers lined up in the early morning, the managers and staff were happy to welcome customers, customers were very excited and filling their baskets with lots of items.
Now we have 10 stores in the United States.
The items sold by our customers in each area make our stores rich and diverse.
Currently, there are 5 stores with Japanese and English products, and 5 stores with English-only. (By the way, Gardena store has the largest number of Japanese products, so it may be the closest to the very first store we opened in US.)
Our used items have also expanded not only books but CDs, DVDs, video games, figures and electronic devices. (There were various trials and errors;).
It past 20 years but our challenge never stops!!
(History of BOOKOFF USA INC. in the United States)
・ October 1999
BOOKOFF USA INC. Established
・ April, 2000
Our first store “New York Store” opened (closed/relocated in 2010)
・ August 2001
The first West Coast Store “Gardena Store” opened (renamed from Los Angeles Store in 2012)
・ January 2003
“Costa Mesa store” opened (October 2004 transferred from a Franchisee company)
・ April 2004
New York Hartsdale Store” opened (closed/integrated to New York Store in 2007)
・ October 2005
“LA Rolling Hills Plaza store” opened (closed/integrated to Del Amo Fashion Center Store in 2010)
・ Mar. 2008
“San Diego Store” opened
・ November 2009
First English-item-only store (=Global BOOKOFF) “Westminster Mall Store” opened
・ October 2010
“49 West 45th Street New York Store” opened (relocated from New York Store).
・ August 2010
The second GBO (=Global BOOKOFF) store “Dela Amo Fashion Center Store” opens
・ March 2013
Mar. 3rd GBO store “Lakewood Center Mall Store” opened.
・ July 2017
“Hawaii Pearlridge Store” (Closed/relocated in October of the same year)
“Hawaii Don Quijote Kaheka store” *both transferred from a Franchisee company
・ October 2017
“Hawaii Pearlridge Uptown Store” opened (relocated)
・ October 2017
Seasonal store “Del Amo Fashion Center North Store” opened
・ February 2018
Seasonal store “New York Amsterdam Store” opened (closed in July 2018 as contract closure)