Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), which runs the Eslite bookstore chain, yesterday said that it would close more outlets in Taiwan later this year as part of a business restructuring plan.
At this year’s annual general meeting, Eslite chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) told shareholders that the company remains upbeat about the market, despite the announced closures.
Eslite would close its bookstore at Kaohsiung Medical University at the end of this month and its Shih Chien University bookstore in Taipei at the end of next month, Wu added.
The closures are a necessary part of efforts to restructure its business operations, she said.
The company on Tuesday announced the closure of its bookstore in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林) at the end of this month, when the building lease expires.
The 24-hour store on Dunhua S Road in Taipei is closing at the end of this month and the store in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) has been designated as the company’s new 24-hour outlet for a trial period starting tomorrow, the company said earlier.
The latest closures would leave Eslite with 38 bookstores in Taiwan by the end of next month.
Wu said that the company would close one or two more stores before the end of the year.
“It’s not about closing stores, but rather about finding the right locations,” Wu said. “Eslite is restructuring its business and mapping out a new expansion strategy to meet demand.”
Wu said that she is optimistic about the company’s business outlook, despite a decline in customers and bookstore sales in Taiwan and other countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eslite is in discussions with its landlords in Taiwan to reduce its rental payments and is applying for government subsidies to shore up its bottom line, she said.
In the first quarter of this year, Eslite reported a net profit of NT$7.13 million (US$237,429), a sharp decline from NT$79 million in the same period last year.
The company plans to open a store in a major business district in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, next year, which would be its first outlet in Southeast Asia, Wu said.
Eslite is also weighing the possibility of opening new bookstores in Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun in Hong Kong’s New Territories, she said.
Eslite also has bookstores in Japan and China.
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