Taiwanese bookstore giant Eslite will open a second branch in Hong Kong as English-language bookstores disappear across the city.

Eslite announced on Thursday that it will open a new store at Star House, Tsim Sha Tsui in October, themed “Travellers, Taiwan, Diversity and Culture”. Aside from 205,000 Chinese books, around half of the products on sale will be Taiwanese stationery, designer goods, food and drinks. A quarter of the products will be Hong Kong brands.

The first Eslite bookstore opened in Causeway Bay in 2012. It sold around 706,000 books last year, with each customer purchasing more than three books on average.

Eslite bookstore bookstore in Hong Kong. Photo: Eslite and Wikimedia Commons.

Business, however, has been tough for English-language stores this year.

Dymocks closed its flagship store in the IFC mall in Central in January. Apple Daily reported that it was paying HK$570,000 rent per month but could not afford a 35 percent increase imposed by the mall.

Three of Dymocks’ eight stores have closed since 2014.

Page One’s Times Square branch in Causeway Bay closed in February after 18 years of business. Grace Leung, the mall’s general manager, told Oriental Daily that the mall planned to divide the store into smaller shops to generate better returns.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.