Bookstores ready for challenge of online

Tong Wangyue
Xinhua Bookstore in Jiading's Robinsons Galleria shopping mall held a signing session by calligrapher Qian Jianzhong as part of the fair.
Tong Wangyue

For many physical bookstores, the annual Shanghai Book Fair provides a great opportunity to promote their business with offline activities, an effective way to attract readers and counteract the challenges brought by online sales.

Xinhua Bookstore in Jiading’s Robinsons Galleria shopping mall held a signing session by calligrapher Qian Jianzhong as part of the fair.

People who were there bought books at the bookstore. “Although it is impossible to greatly increase the sales volume of books, these activities make more readers willing to walk into physical bookstores,” said Zhang Wei, manager of the store’s Jiading outlet.

“We have established a WeChat community to recommend new books, preview activities, release discount information and provide booking services,” Zhang said.

Next, the bookstore will explore online broadcasts and other ways to further expand the influence of physical stores.

Zhu Haifang, from the Zhongshuge bookstore, said it is seeking cooperation with other brands to create cultural and creative products such as bookmarks, notebooks and refrigerator stickers and will develop its own unique products in the future.

Many people are willing to pay the bill for this cultural and creative products in the bookstore.

“If the bookstore doesn’t provide a good environment and drinks, I’d rather buy books online and read books at home. My motivation to go to the bookstore is to enjoy the atmosphere of immersive reading,” said a resident surnamed Huang.

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