Wed, Mar 13, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Kingstone draws buyers by selling old materials

By Annabel Lue  /  STAFF REPORTER

Retailer Kingstone Bookstore (金石堂書店) is boosting sluggish sales by selling out-of-date magazines and books over two years old at dramatically reduced prices.

"Selling old publications at super cheap prices has boosted our sales figures," said Tracy Tsui (崔靜萍), marketing manager at Kingstone Bookstore

Kingstone even decided to set up a special section in its outlets featuring old magazines and books, she said.

Kingstone, a nationwide book store chain with 116 outlets, established three out-of-date magazine and old book sections in their Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung stores in January.

All books and magazines in the section are at least 50 percent cheaper than their original retail price, Tsui said. The tag price can be as low as NT$9 for children's books or as high as NT$99 for novels.

"We feature books that have been pushed off shelves by more recent publications," Tsui said.

Prices range from NT$29 to NT$69 on magazines and are at least six-month old.

"Our first out-of-date magazine and old book center in Taoyuan generated about NT$3 million in sales in February," she said.

Eyeing that attractive figure, Kingstone decided to set up another five centers in Ilan, Miaoli, Nantou, Changhua and Chiayi this month.

The sales centers have all been located outside of Taipei so far.

"We set up old books sections in stores with slow business. Since most outlets in Taipei are still reporting good sales, we don't want to make any changes there."

Selling new publications is much more profitable than selling old ones at cheap prices, she said.

Meanwhile, another bookseller is employing the idea in Taipei, saying this is a win-win business.

"In addition to boosting book sales, publishers can also have more channels to promote products and to reduce their inventory," said Lee Yu-hwa (李玉華), a public relations manager at Eslite Bookstore (誠品).

With the frequency of new book publications increasing in recent years, the shelf life of books is getting shorter, Lee said.

"That's why old books need more time for exposure."

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