Homegrown bookstore chain National Book Store on Monday, August 24, denied rumors that it was planning to close its stores “in expensive malls,” with “only stand-alone [stores]” and online portals left open.
In a statement to media, the store denied the claim, which had gone viral on social media.
“Despite the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, National Book Store is working tirelessly to adapt to the difficulties posed by the current situation and continue providing every Laking National with books and supplies. In fact, the support given to us by our mall partners, especially Ayala, Robinsons, and SM, in whose malls most of our stores are located, has given us a chance to focus our energies in trying to overcome this crisis and continue to serve our customers and communities,” the statement read.
They said that while they were mulling the possible closure to downsizing of “a small number of non-performing locations,” most stores would remain open. They also reiterated plans to strengthen their online presence through their official website and shopping platforms Shopee and Lazada, as well as services that allow customers to purchase items via SMS, Viber, or Facebook Messenger.
National Book Store is over 80 years old and is perhaps among the most recognizable of store brands in the Philippines. Selling everything from local and international books to art and school supplies, there’s almost always at least one National Book Store branch in every major mall in the Philippines.
But the retail industry in the Philippines has struggled in the past few months following lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most malls across the country have reduced their operating hours, with caps to the number of people allowed to enter.
While most of the country has been placed under general community quarantine or its less strict modified version, non-essential travel and movement are still discouraged.
Cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines continue to rise, 5 months after community quarantines were introduced in the country. – Rappler.com