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Eslite Xinyi bookstore in Taipei struggling due to COVID

COVID taking toll on business at Eslite’s 24-hour bookstore

Eslite Xinyi bookstore at night 

Eslite Xinyi bookstore at night  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Eslite Xinyi Store in Taipei is grappling with a slump in sales as it tries to weather the COVID-19 crisis that has dealt a blow to the 24-hour bookstore.

Located in the capital's upmarket Xinyi District, the landmark store, which last year replaced Eslite Dunnan as the branch open round-the-clock, has seen a 90 percent drop in the number of customers since Level 3 restrictions were put in place. Business hours have been shortened, and on July 5 it closed for the day for disinfection after a salesperson tested positive for COVID.

A shopping mall housing more than 300 vendors, Eslite Xinyi has cut rental and other fees for two months for businesses on the premises, but it itself has not been granted a reduction in rent by property owner Uni-President Enterprises Corporation, reported CNA.

Uni-President cited similar financial woes incurred by the pandemic as the reason to reject Eslite Xinyi’s request for rental assistance.

According to financial reports from Eslite Spectrum Corporation, since being listed on the over-the-counter bourse in 2013, the company has only suffered losses in the second quarter of 2020 and the first three months in 2021. The predicament of Eslite Xinyi, the bookstore group's flagship outlet, is likely to result in losses for the company in the second quarter as well, market analyzers predicted.