The story of began in 1920 at Park Street, Calcutta.
Initially known as Oxford Book and Stationery, the bookstore soon carved a special niche for itself in the Eastern region, in an era dominated by Thacker & Spink and Newman's.
75 years later in 1995, the store was reinvented as Oxford Bookstore – Gallery by Apeejay Surrendra Group - the primary aim being to stay ahead of times, to provide more than what was expected, and in the process re-define the future of bookshops.
The new facilities include well-stocked and well-researched book sections, India's first Alternative Art Gallery, audio section and top of the line amenities and services.
To enhance the experience, event space was introduced to hold lectures, book reading, poetry reading, even film screening. The bookstore brought together a cross section of serious readers, jurists, social scientists, women writers, performing artists, activists for social justice and democratic rights, critics and commentators on culture.
The emphasis was to break the conventional limits of a bookshop and involve people in a dialogue to discuss the affairs that relate to books and the realm of visual learning. The next step was to introduce digital resources like CD ROMs and the Internet.
The re-invention of can be seen as a shift to the future, which could broadly be defined as information technology and digital entertainment. Both of these areas are extension of the printed books, and have been identified as a part of the future that the bookshop needs to address. The other aspect of remains the same - to facilitate customers with a better browsing and buying experience.
, seeking to build around itself a community of committed readers, has organized a rich series of lectures, exhibitions, book readings, music evenings, panel discussions, touching on a wide range of issues, concerns and social interaction with award-winning authors and experts.
An interesting and exceptional space of the bookstore is .
Located within , serves 86 types of teas and blends selected from renowned gardens in India and overseas. It is an ideal place for meeting, reading, writing, relaxing and browsing.
The two main components of the store - Bookshop and are complementary to each other, a great combination making .
, therefore in many ways, is a model for traditional bookstores, which took years of efforts for conceptualization, design, construction and management.
The materials used in the are elemental glass, steel, stone - in their natural hues and devoid of additional colour. The brand identity reinforces this in its no-colour presence by using only black and white. During daytime is bright with natural light and has an unusual mixture of floor, ceiling and pendant lamps.
The space is characterised by its selection of designer modern furniture.