On the “Double 11 shopping festival,” e-commerce platforms offered discounts of as much as 34 percent on books, frustrating many brick-and-mortar bookstores. On their Facebook fan pages, the bookstores protested with a black background and white text saying “Our bookstore will be closed on Nov. 11.”
By closing on Nov. 11, more than 40 particpating bookstores expressed their concerns, hoping that readers and the general public encountering e-commerce platform price promotions would spare a thought for the book retail industry.
Chen Ruen-hsiung, owner of the Southern Bookstore, Changhua County’s longest-running bookstore, said during an interview that recently, in order to promote the 1111 Shopping Festival, several online e-commerce platforms had bought books directly from publishers at a 30 percent discount, selling them at 34 percent off. In this price war, the e-commerce companies are selling books below cost of purchase, making it impossible for brick-and-mortar bookstores to compete, leading many independent bookstores to close for one day on Nov. 11.
Photo: CNA 照片：中央社
Tsai Wen-li, manager of Farming Words Bookstore in Hsinchu Science Park, said that, “Books are more than everyday items. Books are vessels of knowledge, culture and social enterprise, welfare and justice. Bookstores are businesses, and need to be operated according to innovative business models, but they stand the risk of folding in the face of drawn-out, merciless price wars.”
(Translated by Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
Photo: Shen Pei-yao, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報記者沈佩瑤
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