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Bookstores seek to write better plot

By Wang Ru | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-15 08:13

Crystal Palace Arts Bookstore (above) in Shanghai is a bookstore awarded for its "outstanding achievement" in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 at the recent China Bookstore Conference.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Sharp fall in customers and profits mean that a new storyline is needed to meet a challenging market, Wang Ru reports.

Bookstores hope a new page can be turned and a success story will unfold as COVID-19, unsurprisingly, led to significantly fewer customers and greatly reduced income, according to a survey.

The survey, published in the 2020-21 China Bookstore Industrial Report that was released during the 2021 China Bookstore Conference held in Beijing on March 30, found that 70 percent of surveyed stores experienced an income reduction in 2020.

The conference, sponsored by the Books and Periodicals Distribution Association of China, the Bookdao New Publishing Institute and Time Publishing and Media, was held to explore how to promote the innovation of services to encourage reading in physical bookstores and their further development in a post-pandemic era.

According to Cheng Sanguo, director of the Bookdao New Publishing Institute, although bookstores suffered heavily in the last year, China actually saw a net gain in bookstore numbers with the opening of 4,061 new sites, compared with the closure of 1,573.

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