Books Kinokuniya will be closing its Jurong outlet in May as it can no longer afford the rent, the bookstore chain tells The Straits Times (ST).
The last day for the outlet, located at JEM, will be May 9, 2022.
Kinokuniya's Asia-Pacific group managing director Yukihiro Kawakami was quoted by ST as saying that rent had been kept affordable over the last two years by government subsidies, but the progress to a new normal has brought on "impending increased rental charges."
He added that footfall had been falling even before the pandemic began.
"These challenges, together with prolonged sluggish sales, adversely impacted our return on investment," he said.
According to ST, the stores's staff, numbering fewer than 10, will be redeployed.
Two outlets remaining
Kinokuniya's closure at JEM means that the popular Japanese bookstore now has two outlets remaining—one at Bugis Junction and its flagship store in Ngee Ann City.
The move comes about three years after Kinokuniya closed its first Singapore outlet, which had occupied a space in Liang Court for 36 years.
At the time, Kinokuniya said that it was seeking to consolidate the bookstore chain's limited resources.
Despite the upcoming closure, a members' promotion for World Book Day (Apr. 23) will take place as planned across all three outlets.
The company also runs stationery and gift store NBC, which has three standalone outlets at Raffles City, Bugis Junction, and Jem.
Follow and listen to our podcast here
Top image from Marcus Goh via Google Maps