Popular’s history began in 1924 when Mr. Chou Sing Chu left China and came to Singapore to settle down. He founded the Cheng Hing Company and distributed Chinese storybooks and pictures, which is the predecessor company of Popular Holdings. By 1936, Popular Book Company was established to retail Chinese books.

In 1980, POPULAR Bras Basah – the largest bookstore in Southeast Asia at the time – opened at Singapore’s Bras Basah Complex. Starting in 1990, Popular began to expand into foreign markets with the opening of the first bookstore in Malaysia.

The brand “CD-RAMA” was launched to retail music and audio products in POPULAR Singapore (1991), POPULAR Malaysia (1992) and POPULAR Hong Kong (1992). In 2001, Popular e-Learning Holdings Pte Ltd (PeLH) was incorporated in Singapore to provide content rich digital media educational products and online services.

Popular Holdings was incorporated in Singapore on 5 October 1996 as a private company under the name Popular Holdings Pte Ltd and changed its name to Popular Holdings Limited in 1997.

POPULAR Group has expanded into other areas such as retail, e-learning and publishing, becoming a prestigious cultural brand. POPULAR currently has a total of 169 retail stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. It has been ranked among the top 100 brands in Singapore by Brand Finance for 4 consecutive years, from 2012 to 2015.

Popular is also the organizer of BookFest – the major annual event of the book industry in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

According to popularworld.com, Wikipedia