Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. access / ˈæk sɛs / (v.) – to be able to reach something
Example: I need to access those files.
2. expand / ɪkˈspænd / (v.) – to spread, stretch out, unfold
Example: We expect to expand our market share in the next three years.
3. nationwide / ˈneɪ ʃənˈwaɪd / (adv.) – describing something that involves an entire country
Example: The restaurant expanded to 50 branches nationwide.
4. franchise / ˈfræn tʃaɪz / (n.) – a business, such as a store or restaurant, that licenses others to sell their products
Example: The convenience store franchise offers services all over the world.
5. rivalry / ˈraɪ vəl ri / (n.) – the state of being in competition with one anotherExample: The rivalry between these two companies is getting stronger.
Read the text below.
Readers in Taiwan can now collect and return borrowed books in convenience stores.
In a move initiated by Taipei Public Library (TPL), members are now given an easier way to access resources from the library. The service started from the library’s partnership with FamilyMart in 2015, and was offered in only 74 stores all over Taiwan. Now, the service was expanded to include nearly 10,000 convenience stores nationwide. To make this expansion possible, TPL also partnered with 7-ELEVEN and the local Taiwanese franchise, Hi-Life.
Using this service is simple: a library member can register and borrow materials from the library online. Afterward, the member can easily collect the borrowed books from his or her selected convenience store branch. This can be done for a deposit of 200 New Taiwan dollars, or around US$6, and a delivery fee of 50 New Taiwan dollars. The service is available 24/7 for the entire year, and members may borrow up to five materials at once.
Due to tight competition, convenience stores are continuously introducing new services, such as the book loaning service. Aside from this initiative, FamilyMart is also considering adding other unique services, like putting nursery facilities and karaoke parlors in its stores.
Genichi Tamatsuka, the CEO of the Lawson convenience store franchise, said in an interview that the rivalry for customers urges them to deliver high-quality services at affordable prices.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· If you were in Taiwan, would you use the public library’s new service? Why or why not?
· What are the advantages and disadvantages of making more services available in convenience stores?
· What do you think is the difference between convenience stores then and now?
· What other products or services would you like to see in convenience stores?