So long, farewell: Hong Kong’s Swindon bookstore closes its doors after 100 years in business

Photo via Facebook/Swindon Book Co Ltd 辰衝圖書有限公司
Photo via Facebook/Swindon Book Co Ltd 辰衝圖書有限公司

Hong Kong is to bid farewell to yet another bookstore—Swindon Book Co. Ltd, one of the city’s oldest English language booksellers, will be closing its doors at the end of this month.

In a Facebook post published Tuesday, Swindon said they are “moving to a new chapter” and shutting their doors. They will be going online instead, and their subsidiaries, Hong Kong Book Center and Kelly & Walsh, will continue to operate as usual.

“We deeply appreciate all your support over the years and we are truly honored to have spent time with you at retail,” the post read.

Swindon would like to invite you to celebrate our moving to a new chapter. We are closing a door and opening a window,…

Posted by Swindon Book Co Ltd 辰衝圖書有限公司 on Monday, July 27, 2020

 

The 5,000 square feet Tsim Sha Tsui bookstore, with its vintage-style gold lettering and floor-to-ceiling display of book titles, occupies a distinct stretch alongside the drugstores and local-style restaurants on Lock Road. The company has been in business since 1918.

A familiar name among those who grew up in Hong Kong, Swindon is also a textbooks distributor for hundreds of schools in the city. In 2011, Swindon partnered with e-book reader company Kobo, becoming an authorized seller of the device in an attempt to keep up with changing times.

The store’s closure is another blow to Hong Kong’s literary community, which has suffered the loss of several major bookstores unable to weather sky-high rents and competition from online retailers in recent years. In March, Popular bookstore—which had been in Hong Kong for 40 years—closed all of its 16 branches.

Dymocks and Page One, chains that had once had outlets in almost every major shopping mall in the city, left the Hong Kong market in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: BUSINESS

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