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April 16, 2013

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Beloved bookstore hopes to hang on at new locale

JIFENG Bookstore will have a one-week soft reopening starting today at Shanghai Library Station of Metro Line 10, and then the beloved but endangered shop will reopen officially on April 23.

The store was relocated from its former shop at Shaanxi Road S. Station of Metro Line 1,which closed at the end of March since flagging sales left it unable to afford the rent. The new location is cheaper and it is hoped visitors to Shanghai Library will be potential buyers.

Jifeng, one of the relatively few surviving privately owned brick-and-mortar bookstores in China, drew attention when Yu Miao, a fan and its new general manager, took over early in the year.

"Right now, our target for profit is zero. I'm not operating it as a commercial project and the goal for the first year is to stop losing money. We need to survive first," Yu said.

The entrepreneur, who owns a trading company, added that he would bring in a team specializing in marketing.

The new shop has a larger area for lectures and other activities in order to attract more readers while Yu intends to carry on the brand's tradition to choose good books that inspire readers to think independently.

Jifeng has been considered a cultural landmark of the city since its flagship store at Shaanxi Road S. Station opened in 1997.


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