Exclusive Books

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Exclusive Books Group (Pty) Ltd
Traded asExclusive Books
PredecessorExclusive Books (Pty) Ltd
FounderPhilip Joseph, Pamela Joseph, Pauline Joseph
Number of locations
40 stores (2018)
Area served
Southern Africa
Key people
Mark Barnes (Chairman), Grattan Kirk (CEO), Frank Boner (CFO), Steve Thomas, Brett Boner
ProductsBooks, Toys, Boardgames, Coffee

Exclusive Books is one of South Africa's largest bookselling chains with stores throughout South Africa, and one store in Gaborone, Botswana. As of 1 December 2013, the chain is owned and operated by a private group of investors. It was previously owned by the Times Media Group (TMG), after TMG took control of Avusa.


In 1951, Philip and Pamela Joseph founded the very first Exclusive Books as a second-hand bookshop in King George Street, Johannesburg. In 1973 Exclusive Books moved to Pretoria Street, Hillbrow, and became the first flagship store. The Hillbrow store closed in 1993 and within the same year, the Hyde Park store became the group's flagship. It was the largest bookshop of its kind in Southern Africa at the time.

In 1998, it launched the Fanatics loyalty program, which grew to a membership of 170 000 members by 2001. In 1999, Exclusive Books moved from just selling books to creating a lifestyle oriented experience. The most important addition was the introduction of Seattle Coffee Company cafés adjoining eighteen of the book stores.[1]

Until 2012, they sponsored an annual book prize called the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize.

On 22 September 2013, it was announced that Exclusive Books - and its sister company Van Schaik Bookstore - was being sold by TMG to a private consortium led by Medu Capital for R435 million.[2] At the conclusion of this sale, the company briefly traded under the name Jadeite Trading (Pty) Ltd Trading As Exclusive Books, before being re-registered as Exclusive Books Group (Pty) Ltd. On 21 August 2014, the company announced its new brand and a shift in its corporate focus, including the introduction of its own café brand, EB Café.[3]

In July 2017, Market Theatre Foundation partnered with Exclusive Books.[4]

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

In 2002, in a move to formalize the corporate social responsibility programme, Exclusive Books established the Exclusive Books Reading Trust. The three trustees are Zakes Mda, Mandla Langa, and Brian Wafawarowa.

The Reading Trust was established to fund literacy, library and reading projects around South Africa. The Reading Trust is responsible for the donation of children’s books and the development of children’s reading. Through the Reading Trust Exclusive Books has opened libraries in Cape Town and Limpopo and has donated thousands of books every year to various organizations and charities.[5]


The first Exclusive Books e-commerce site was launched as ExclusiveBooks.com and went live in 1999. In 2010, this was replaced by Exclus1ves.co.za,[6] which was one of the first e-commerce sites in South Africa to incorporate gamification.


  1. ^ "Background to Exclusive Books' 50th birthday". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Exclusive Books sold for R435m". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Shelf Life: Exclusive Books switches branding, focus". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  4. ^ "The Market Theatre joins forces with Exclusive Books for Pan-African partnership | City Buzz". City Buzz. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. ^ "About Exclusive Books". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  6. ^ "About Exclusive Books". Retrieved 24 August 2012.

External links[edit]