Eslite to close bookstore in China's Shenzhen City in December

07/04/2020 05:08 PM
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Photo from http://meet.eslite.com
Photo from http://meet.eslite.com

Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Eslite Spectrum Corp., a major bookstore chain in Taiwan, has announced plans to close one of its two outlets in China at the end of the year, citing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.

In a statement Friday, Eslite said the bookstore in Shenzhen City has seen a steady decline in customers, many of whom have been deterred by the physical environment in the area, where several construction projects are underway.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in a slowdown of sales at the store, while a change in international accounting rules is expected to affect the terms of the property lease down the road, Eslite spokesman Wu Li-chieh (吳立傑) said in the statement.

Eslite will book a loss of NT$182 million (US$6.15 million) in asset impairment and an income loss of about NT$187 million, due to the early termination of its lease, he said.

While the decision to close the Shenzhen store by year end was a difficult one, it will allow Eslite to reshape itself, as part of its current business restructuring efforts, Wu said.

Meanwhile, Eslite's other bookstore in China, in the city of Suzhou, recorded an average 20 percent monthly increase in sales in May and June and is currently not affected by the change in international accounting rules, since they took effect before the signing of the new lease for the property, he said.

The Suzhou bookstore was opened in 2015, while the one in Shenzhen was opened at the end of 2018.

Eslite's announcement of it plans to shut down its Shenzhen bookstore followed the closure of several of its outlets in Taiwan, in what the company said was an effort to restructure its business amid COVID-19.

In May, Eslite closed its flagship 24-hour Dunnan bookstore in Taipei and moved the round-the-clock service to its Xinyi store.

According to the company's website, it has 37 bookstores in Taiwan, 22 of which are located in the northern part of the country.

Eslite first ventured abroad in 2012, opening a bookstore in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, and since then has extended its reach to China and Japan.

At a shareholders' meeting in May, Eslite Chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) said the company was planning to open a bookstore next year in a major business district in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, which will be its first in the Southeast Asian market.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

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