Bookstore chain Popular will close all of its 16 branches across Hong Kong today amid the poor business environment due to fierce competition from online books and high operational costs.
This came after the Singaporean publisher and book retailer was last week sued over some HK$470,000 rent for its Whampoa Garden branch.
Popular Holdings yesterday announced remodeling of its Hong Kong business, saying all 16 branches that have opened for over 40 years will be closed.
"Over the past decade retail businesses for books have faced a structural problem in the market. The situation deteriorated in the last 12 months when the profit shrank further but costs and rents are still sky high," the company said in a statement.
However, the corporation will continue its non-retail business in Hong Kong and switch as many affected shop assistants as possible to other departments while the remaining staffers will be laid off according to the Employment Ordinance.
In 2016, another Singaporean bookstore chain, Page One, also closed all its Hong Kong outlets citing high rents and rise of online books.