Wed, May 30, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Eslite Dunnan bookstore may close in 2020

Staff writer, with CNA

Eslite Bookstore (誠品) yesterday said that its 24-hour Dunnan store in Taipei is likely to close when its lease for the space expires in 2020.

However, no final decision has been made, and Eslite spokesperson said, adding that there was still a chance that the company could negotiate an extension of the lease to keep the outlet going.

The spokesperson did not specify what the problem was with the lease or why the bookstore felt compelled to close down the location.

If the Dunnan outlet is closed for good, Eslite would seek another location for a new 24-hour store, the spokesperson said.

The Dunnan branch started operating 24/7 in 1999 and the termination of the lease in 2020 has sparked concern that it would an end to the service.

FOREIGN ATTRACTION

With three levels below ground and two above in the 12-story Dunnan Financial Building on Dunhua S Road, the store has been a big draw for many foreign visitors to Taiwan.

At the annual general meeting of Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), which owns the bookstore chain, yesterday, chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) announced that the company is to open a new store in the Nanjing W Road commercial area by the end of the third quarter.

Asked whether it would offer 24-hour service to replace the Dunnan outlet, the spokesperson said that the plan is still under evaluation.

The company is evaluating the feasibility of expanding into Japan and Southeast Asia, Wu said.

It is also considering teaming up with partners or using licensing agreements to facilitate its expansion plans, she said.

OVERSEAS OUTLETS

Eslite runs three stores in Hong Kong’s Taikoo, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, and one store in Suzhou, China.

It is scheduled to open another store in Shenzhen by the end of this year, and new stores are also planned in China’s Xian and Wuhan.

The expansions are likely to increase the company’s operating costs and affect its profitability this year, but these efforts should pay off next year by increasing Eslite’s market share and income, Wu said.

Shareholders approved a proposal to distribute a cash dividend of NT$3 per share based on last year’s earnings per share of NT$8.91.

Shares of Eslite closed down 0.36 percent at NT$138.50 in Taipei trading yesterday, in line with the broader market, which edged down 0.22 percent to 10,964.12.

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