In May 2020, Eslite Dunnan, the world's first 24-hour bookstore, was officially closed due to the expiration of the lease. In a grand commemorative event, the bookstore officially turned off its lights after more than 20 years of uninterrupted operation. Then, a double-decker bus with the words "Elite Xinyi 24-hour Bookstore" appeared on the body.
Through the connection of this bus, Eslite Xinyi Store is not only a "check-in point" for many people to go to Taipei, but also becomes a new 24-hour Eslite Bookstore. Now, however, the story of the past seems to be playing out again.
▲Elite Dunnan store, picture from: eslite
On June 8, 2022, Eslite Life's official website issued a statement, mainly about some news reports about some information in "Xinyi Store will not renew the lease at the end of next year".
There are news reports that Uni-President Group has not expressed its willingness to renew the contract with Eslite Life, and the Eslite Xinyi store may close after the lease expires at the end of 2023. In this regard, the statement mentioned that it has not received any official response from the landlord's representative, Uniform Enterprise.
▲ Picture from: eslite
In addition, the statement mentioned some details in the terms of the leases of both parties. For example, Eslite Xinyi Store rented Xinyi Store 17 years ago at a fixed rent and revenue that was higher than its peers at that time (guaranteed turnover of 5 billion and 9%), and paid 8 billion yuan in rent in 2018 (the amount mentioned in the article). All in New Taiwan dollars), even during the severe epidemic period, Uni-President has always been “difficult to agree” to rent reduction, and Eslite Life has continued to pay rent steadily.
Eslite Life's statement also mentioned that the company's lease renewal condition is that no matter what the revenue is within 5 billion, the landlord will be guaranteed to receive a high fixed rent of at least 480 million. The affiliated enterprise of Uni-President uses half of the fixed rent of RMB 240 million paid by Eslite Life as the fixed rent. Even if its turnover reaches RMB 5 billion, the total annual accumulated rent still falls short of the company by at least RMB 30 million. For the portion other than the turnover exceeding 5 billion, the company's commission is also better than that of the unified affiliated company.
▲Picture from: eslite
It is not difficult to see from the statement that Eslite Life is actually using the statement to allow the "landlord" to give a clear reply to the renewal of the contract. The development of the Internet has made the survival of brick-and-mortar bookstores difficult.
Eslite Bookstore has also transformed into a comprehensive bookstore, and its businesses cover department store retailing, culture and art, hotels and real estate operations, etc., and it can be regarded as "steady on the ground" in the real wave of impact on physical bookstores. But the raging epidemic in the past two years has made this situation a little "worse".
▲Picture from: eslite
The 2020 annual report of Eslite Life shows that the consolidated revenue was NT$4.545 billion (approximately RMB 1.042 billion).
In such a difficult situation, Eslite naturally does not want to give up the Eslite Xinyi store. This place is full of books and life. It is not only a benchmark for Eslite, but also a benchmark among Asian bookstores today.
▲Picture from: eslite
Even Eslite also mentioned in the statement: "Elite Life once again emphasizes that it is willing to compare leasing conditions in an open and transparent way. I would like to ask that listed companies such as Uni-President are willing to face up to and safeguard the rights and interests of the majority of shareholders, and are willing to consider the world's largest traditional Chinese bookstore again. social benefits of existence.”
The Uni-President International Building, where Eslite Xinyi Store is located, is currently jointly owned by a total of seven companies including Uni-President Enterprise, Uni-President Superstore, Tainan Textile, and Prince Construction. Eslite Life proposes a 20-year lease renewal. The contract, emphasizing that the rent and return are better than the current lease conditions, and is also willing to open the price comparison.
▲Elite Xinyi store, picture from: eslite
However, in the Xinyi District of Taipei, where "an inch of land is an inch of gold", the conditions proposed by Eslite may not meet the expectations of the "landlords". Although there is no further progress in the renewal of the contract at present, many people must hope that the renewal of the contract will proceed smoothly, and hope that the lights in the Eslite Xinyi store can continue to be on 24 hours a day, so that the physical bookstore can be in the city. "Light" down.
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