Times Bookstores to close Marina Square branch

Times Bookstores will be closing its Marina Square branch on Wednesday next week, after its lease at the mall ends.

It is the second Times store to close this year, after the outlet at Paragon mall shuttered in March.

A spokesman for the chain said both stores had experienced weak sales and low foot traffic, adding: "This has been compounded by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic since last year."

Bookstores, like the rest of the retail sector, have been hard-hit by the pandemic, which required them to close during the circuit breaker period last year.

The latest closures follow that of the storied Times Centrepoint branch. It opened in 1983 and was at one point one of Singapore's biggest bookstores, famed for its 70m-long glass window, before it shut in 2019.

Times has seven other outlets in Singapore: Times Jelita, Times Plaza Singapura, Times Waterway Point, Times Junior Jewel and three Kaboom stores at Changi Airport, which focus on toys, games and educational products.

It also sells online at GoGuru.com.sg.

Times Marina Square opened in 2006 and ran till 2013. After a hiatus, it reopened in 2015.

The outlet is having a moving-out sale with 30 per cent discount for members and 20 per cent for non-members until July 21.

Museum professional Kylene Wu, who is in her 30s, has been a regular at the store for four years as she works in the area.

"It's always been such a peaceful haven with good music and a rotating display of the newest books," she says.

She adds that she will miss chatting with the friendly staff about the latest reads. "They've always been helpful and nice. I'll really miss having a bookstore to just pop by whenever I'm around and to discover a new read while on a lunch break or after work.

"Even though I know it's a difficult time, I am sad to see another bookstore go."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2021, with the headline Times Bookstores to close Marina Square branch. Subscribe