The owner of the Booktique bookstore in Singapore has resorted to a Facebook plea for support to help him through the economic slowdown.
He says he is working with distributors and the mall management to try to improve sales.
“If you like our shop and what we have been doing, please help us pull through this,” he writes on the social-media site. “We are NOT giving up Booktique, but we need help to tide us over until the quiet months are over.”
Koh called on book lovers and customers to help by buying vouchers and books, or renting its space for art-related workshops and classes. He had started his business by hosting small book fairs at cafes in 2013 before opening a pop-up store at The Cathay. After closing that he opened another pop-up at CityLink in October 2014, turning that into a permanent store in last July.
Koh told The New Paper he had hesitated for days before making his appeal, and has given himself three months to stabilise the business or close down.
He says sales have been dropping since November, with his Christmas “dismal” with only half the takings of the previous year’s festive season.
Official data shows real Singapore retail sales (excluding motor vehicles) slid 3.6 per cent in December. Books sales are measured in the same category as optical goods, and fell 5.1 per cent year on year.