LIFE

Time for a party

What's a birthday party without some music?

What's a birthday party without some music?  

JUST A few years ago Landmark was Nungambakkam's best known, well, landmark. Bookworms congregated at the tranquil store to shop, browse and furtively read the glossies. Then, after 14 successful years, on October 31, Landmark opened another store in Spencer's Plaza. However, contrary to what you would expect, Landmark II is not just a sequel, or a clone.

Looking back at the past year on Landmark, Spencers' first birthday, which was yesterday, Hemu Ramaiah, spokesperson, says that they owe their popularity to the fact that they never tried to pit the stores against each other. Instead of trying to compete with its older, and immensely popular sibling, the new Landmark store attempts to reach out to a completely different type of customer. And, in the bargain, Landmark the original never lost customers. In fact, surprisingly, the two stores record similar sales figures.

According to Hemu, spokesperson for both stores, though both the Landmarks have a vast collection of books, the selection differs in keeping with each shop's customers. Hemu says that Tourist books, Fiction and Coffee Table books move faster at their store, which is rapidly becoming a must-see destination for `tourists and young Madras'. However, for those who don't want to dance around bookshelves and flutter their eyelashes over cappuccinos, there's the older Landmark, which now has the reputation for being a `serious readers joint'. This Landmark has a loyal set of patrons, who continue to shop there ignoring its flashier counterpart, even though it offers easy parking and hot chocolate while they browse. Landmark, Nungambakkam, is stocked with specialised books on subjects such as management, computers, and self-help books. And, on their Landmark's birthday last December, customers came bearing cakes and bouquets as token of their appreciation. "It's more than a store. It's a club," says Hemu.

But young Landmark's the party place. To celebrate its birthday yesterday staff and customers celebrated all day long, starting from 11 a.m. when there was a karaoke session. The drenched customers did not allow the weather to water down their enthusiasm and by 11:30 there was a mile long queue of singers and people who wished they could be singers warbling away with all their might.

By Shonali Muthalaly

Photo: N. Balaji

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