Established in 1919 Oxford Bookstore is the best equipped 'base-camp' for journeys of the mind offering its customers the widest range of outstanding titles and consistently courteous and informed service for close to a century. Today, with more than 30 stores in India, India’s first dedicated Children’s bookstore, Oxford Junior, India’s first of its kind tea boutique, Cha Bar, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Oxford Bookstore offers booklovers access to the very best in publishing enhanced by a variety of events which salute books, visual & performing arts and celebrate the word.
The Brand’s fascinating story started over 90 years ago in Kolkata’s Park Street as Oxford Bookstore and Stationery which has since become the city’s iconic landmark. Ms. Priti Paul, who is the creative force behind the Brand, had promised booklovers of Calcutta, the city she loves and grew up in, a contemporary, multidimensional experience, in keeping with international trends. Thus in 1995, on the Heritage store's platinum anniversary, the iconic store was refashioned as Oxford Bookstore - Gallery. Since then, she, acting in the capacity of Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group has made Oxford into India’s favourite bookstore, taking the Brand to unprecedented heights and across India.
Each Oxford Bookstore has book sections curated with deep research across genres, enviable venue and ambience, world class amenities in keeping with international trends quickly making it the favourite destination of every city it has expanded its footprint to. Each Oxford Bookstore overflows with a treasure trove of books waiting to be discovered making it a universe that inspires people to read even as the brand remains a front runner in the use of state-of-the-art technology nurturing its tradition of enterprise and vision. A strong selection of popular fiction and non-fiction, Indian and International, an unsurpassed source for illustrated books covering a vast range of topics including Design, Culture, Teens, Careers, Electronics, Gadgets, Computers, Cars, Music, Nature, Photography, Art, Architecture, Fashion, Gardening and a wide range of Translations from India and the best of World Literature enrich its Book Sections.
Cha Bar tucked away as an integral part of the Bookstore is the first of its kind urban contemporary space that has turned tea from a dry page in history to a lifestyle drink! The stylish and relaxing ambience of Cha Bar can make hours go by, browsing through our huge collection of books while one is spoilt for choice with an assortment of Teas. From the Flowering Teas, Organic Teas, Herbal Teas, Diet Teas, Fruit Teas, to the exclusive range of Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Sikkim and Oolong, complimented by the best in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, Russian, Sri Lankan, South African and Thai Teas – make up for our nearly 160 varieties on offer to create pure joy for our customers as they browse through a book by their favourite author. Cha Bar’s Menu boasts of exotic and cultural blends like the Moroccan Mint, South African Rooibos, Decaf Teas, Green Teas and Ayurvedic Teas with healing powers and all of them are popular amongst our patrons. Special category of ‘Chai Hindustani’ and the ‘Cutting Chai’ has been reinvented here at Cha Bar. Single Estate Virginal Teas from Plantations of our Group company, Apeejay Tea Group, in Upper Assam as also Flavours and range of our Group’s FMCG brand Typhoo, retailing in nearly 50 countries globally including India, are also served here, in a truly contemporary setting delivering an experience that has made Cha Bar a preferred destination.
Oxford Bookstores have had the distinction of hosting world class writers such as Amitav Ghosh, Kiran Desai, Amit Chaudhuri, Shashi Tharoor, William Dalrymple, as well as the iconic Bengali writers - Late Sunil Gangopadhyay, Mahasweta Devi, Nabaneeta Devsen, Mani Shankar Mukherjee , and Nobel and Booker Prize winners Sir V.S. Naipaul, Gunter Grass and Salman Rushdie to name a few as it strives to bring to each city it has a foot print in - a stimulating forum for an array of events and promotions – a continuing festival of literary, visual and performing arts. Oxford Bookstore has built an excellent reputation and the list of its famous customers would be too long, from noted writers/columnists, corporate / politicians/ bureaucrats and film / fashion and entertainment industry. The list includes Narayan Murthy, Shri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, Kiran Karnik, Mark Tully, Ramachandra Guha, Ruskin Bond, MJ Akbar, Liz Hurley & Arun Nayyar, Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan to name a few.
Leveraging on relationships built for well over 9 decades with publishing houses, the store offers a range of titles from Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Penguin, Random House, Tata McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, Oxford University Press. Niche publishing houses like Ananda, Navayana, Tulika, Srishti, Indialog, Zubaan, Katha are also represented. World’s largest publisher of Art books, Thames and Hudson (UK), provide us exclusive support through latest titles.
Oxford Bookstore’s online interface, www.oxfordbookstore.com provides special online shopping benefits and was the first of its kind, hosted out of India offering 6 million titles worldwide. Our stores are famed for the breadth and range in the selection of music, software, exclusive eco-friendly and new age stationary items making it a unique product and merchandise mix. While our Bookstore was declared as one of "India's Biggest Newsmakers" in Retail category according to the survey conducted by Business Today in 2007, Cha Bar was accorded the Times Food Award in the Best Tea Bar category in New Delhi a year before in 2006. Casa Brutus, the Japanese cult Magazine, in the March 2005 issue, mentioned the Bookstore amongst the must visit places in India’s Capital. Oxford Bookstore Kolkata, its iconic store where the Brand story began in 1919 has been featured as a standalone chapter in the British Council publication "Kolkata: Book City".
We are fiercely passionate towards raising funds, raising public consciousness and sharing responsibility towards one horned rhino conservation in India’s North Eastern state of Assam. Oxford Bookstores and WWF-India Partnership seek to enroll customers of Oxford Bookstores and Cha Bar in the cause of conservation. Every time they buy a book, they directly but voluntarily donate towards ‘Give Back to Nature ‘ programme of WWF-India, specifically supporting the Wild Wisdom quiz, India’s only national level quiz to sensitize and generate awareness among children by fostering a sense of competition, pride and knowledge of Indian biodiversity ;and when they step into Cha Bar and choose our Single Estate Assam Teas, a portion of sales of every cup they sip, matched by Oxford Bookstores, helps preserve the life of one-horned rhino and their habitat in Assam as part of one horned rhino conservation efforts by WWF- India.
Oxford Bookstore measures its success by the smiles on millions of happy customers that the brand has served over the last 9 decades. There are a few treats as sumptuous as a visit to Oxford Bookstore in India. Each time you walk into our iconic store in Calcutta where the brand started in 1919, its charm leaves you wanting for more. Our fleet of 200 happy to help expert booksellers and informed hosts work day and night to bring to customers world class reading experience be it through our books or our fine teas and live by the brand’s motto - Much more than a bookstore – at every store, be it Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Shillong, Guwahati or Goa. In December 2012 Oxford Bookstore took a chapter from its growth story in India by launching, Katakali, its first overseas bookstore in the luxurious Taj Palace Hotel at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the exclusive palm-filled oasis of the Palmeraie, Marakkech.
In April 2013, with the opening of its most architecturally crafted retail store in a stunning new destination in Delhi’s historic centre, Connaught Place, Oxford Bookstore carved out yet another incredible space for quiet browsing, reading and contemplation.
Its growth story continues…