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Australian book chain exits Hong Kong

Dymocks, the Australian franchised bookstore chain, is to abandon the Hong Kong market.

The company will close its flagship store in the IFC Mall on January 25 according to an email to suppliers.

With the flagship store’s closure, the Hong Kong operation, a joint venture between Dymocks and minority shareholder The SCMP Group (publisher of the South China Morning Post), says the brand will be phased out of the market.

“With the closure of Dymocks IFC Mall, which has generated the majority of the group sales, it is no longer viable for Dymocks to maintain an office here and the office will close at the end of February,” the email explained.

Dymocks, described as the city’s largest English-language bookseller, entered Hong Kong 15 years ago but in recent years, like many of its local rivals and peers in other markets, digitalisation, changing consumer reading habits and high store rentals have impacted on book sales.

Three Dymocks Hong Kong stores closed in 2012 when their leases ran out and when the IFC Mall store closes, just five will remain. The South China Morning Post reports these stores will operate under the Dymocks brand before being renamed.

Members of the Dymocks Booklover’s Rewards program can continue to earn points until March 2 but all points must be redeemed by the end of June.

The company’s Hong Kong website says all Hong Kong Booklover cards will be deactivated on July 1, 2015 when any outstanding points will expire.

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