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North Bridge Road bookstore closes as internet dominates

By Chery Tay

With books apparently becoming less appealing due to the popularity of the internet, bookseller Commercial Press (Shang Wu) has ended its 100 years of operations in Singapore last Friday, reported The Straits Times.

The Chinese company decided not to renew its lease on the North Bridge Road Centre which expired this month, citing slow business over the past few years.

"The trend, even among Chinese book readers, is to go online and even if they wanted to buy a book, they are ordering it via the Net," said a spokesperson for the bookshop.

She added that the company plans to shift its focus to wholesale business to schools as well as online orders. Nonetheless, they are still willing to open a new shop given a better location.

The company began operations in 1897 as a Shanghai-based printer but eventually expanded to book publishing, wholesale and retail. The first overseas Commercial Press outlet was in Singapore at the junction of Mosque Street and South Bridge Road in 1912 and later moved to Neil Road.

The bookstore then transferred to locations including South Bridge Road and Victoria Street. In 2002, it moved to North Bridge Centre and opened a second shop in IMM, Jurong East — this outlet moved to Cathay Building in 2007 but closed after two years.Related Stories: IKEA giving back for ChristmasWestgate mall now 50% leasedBritish hotel investment showcased in Singapore

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