Shenzhen Book Center closes after 10 years
2013-December-2 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Shenzhen Book Center in Futian District closed to the public because of business reorganization yesterday after more than 10 years of operation, due to challenges from e-commerce, rent and taxes.

The four-story book center, funded by the Shenzhen branch of China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC), was a comprehensive bookstore with 10,000 square meters of floor space, 250,000 varieties of books and 20,000 video products. The company’s online store also closed yesterday.

According to the store’s operator, CNNC subsidiary Shenzhen Renwentiandi Industrial Co., the center’s two biggest costs — taxes and rent — drove the business to close its doors.

The store’s final sale started Wednesday and attracted many shoppers seeking discount books over the weekend.

A resident surnamed Xiao visited Shenzhen Book Center on Saturday and bid farewell to the store by taking photos and buying some books.

“I once worked in Huaqiangbei and I often came here at noon to read,” Xiao said. “It is a pity that my favorite place will be closed.”

A book center employee said Friday that the store would close Dec. 1 , the end of Shenzhen’s annual Reading Month.

“We’re hosting some Reading Month activities and when those are completed, the store will be closed,” the employee said.

Unsold books will be returned to providers. The center has 100 employees.

The business struggled in recent years as more and more people began buying books online.

“Books are cultural products. (Store owners) need preferential policies from the government in taxes and rent,” said Wei Fuhua, deputy director of the Cultural Research Institute of the Shenzhen Academy of Social Sciences.

Well-known scholar Hu Yeqiu said bookstores can no longer survive by simply selling books. They should be cultural centers allowing customers to relax, read and experience new trends in a variety of products, Hu said.

“As a city of 14 million people, Shenzhen needs more bookstores, which are places where people can mentally rest,” Hu said. “Without government support for taxes and rent, Shenzhen Book Center won’t be the last one to close.”

(By Han Ximin)

Editor: 张斯
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