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MPH Bookstore may quit Singapore

Malaysia’s MPH Bookstore may exit Singapore, closing its last outlet by September.

The chain announced its plan to close Raffles City and Parkway Parade outlets on July 28 and September 1 respectively. But the company signalled it is open to replacing the two outlets with a single store if it can find the right location at the right rent.

According to The New Paper (TNP), MPH is closing the stores due to high rental costs and intense competition from online booksellers.

As a result, the chain has plans to “restructure and streamline its resources for new business plans”.

“Most of these online retailers give between 15- and 25-per-cent discount. Another unfair advantage is they don’t have to charge GST,” MPH Bookstores area manager Ismail Osman told the The Straits Times in April.

He also revealed that sales at MPH had declined by 40 per cent over the last 10 years.

MPH Singapore’s first flagship on Stamford Road closed in 2003, after nearly 100 years, due to declining sales.

MPH’s closure news came one month after other bookstore chains such as Popular and Japan’s Books Kinokuniya also closed their outlets after more than 30 years trading.

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