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Brand new chapter for Metro bookstore

THE popular Jifeng Bookstore in the Shaanxi Road S. Metro station is to stay open after signing a three-year contract with the Metro management last Friday, a local newspaper reported today.

But even though the Metro property management company offered the bookstore a discount, the shop still faces challenges, the Oriental Morning Post reported.

Although the exact rent was not revealed it is apparently more than twice the 2 yuan (US$0.29) per square meter set in the original contract which was signed ten years ago.

Both sides chose to sign a "2+1" contract with the first two years being a normal rental period and the third year a possible negotiation period for a renewed contract.

But the high rent may squeeze all the profits for the store, warned Yan Bofei, general manager of the bookstore.

Jifeng is known for its range of titles and for allowing customers to browse and read books at the store's cafe.

When it was first reported that Jifeng might close when its 10-year contract expired at the end of last year, readers and government officials called for a deal to keep the bookstore open.

"It is a culture landmark in the city. We want the Jifeng bookstore to stay open on its original site." Jiao Yang, director general of Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau, once said.

Writer Zhang Hong described the bookstore as a "small spiritual space in a material forest."


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