Taiwanese bookseller Eslite is shifting its focus into smaller community stores in its home market after struggling due to Covid-19 last year.
According to Eslite’s chairwoman, Mercy Wu, 100 small-format stores will be rolled out within the next three years and one store is set to open in China in 2024. Eslite’s decision to change its focus from giant destination stores to smaller, corner-store style outlets follows a drop in tourists due to Covid-19 restrictions, which has made the large shops unviable.
Meanwhile, small stores will help the bookstore chain to pick up customers in smaller communities it could not reach before.
Eslite will continue to operate its largest store in the New Taipei City district of Xindian in late next year or early 2023.
The brand closed nine outlets in Taiwan last year including its first 24-hour bookshop. Its mega store plan in Kuala Lumpur, which is set to open next year, has been delayed and is likely to launch in 2023 given the ongoing pandemic situation in Malaysia.
Eslite’s stores outside Taiwan include outlets in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Suzhou.