Failed Page One Hong Kong bookstore hit with fresh writ for unpaid bills

Publisher demands payment for deliveries worth more than HK$1.28 million

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 November, 2016, 5:54pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 November, 2016, 5:54pm

Shuttered bookstore chain Page One faces a fresh lawsuit from a publishing group for allegedly failing to pay for HK$1.28 million worth of books despite repeated demands.

The Singaporean company surprised the city 10 days ago by shutting two of its outlets amid a retail downturn and fierce competition from online sales.

CITE (HK) Publishing Group said in a High Court writ filed on Friday that it had supplied and delivered books worth more than HK$1.28 million from before 2014, but Page One the Designer’s Bookshop (HK) did not respond to repeated demands to foot the bill.

The supplier is demanding the bookstore settle the outstanding amount with interest and pay for the costs of legal action.

Last week another book supplier, New Age Culture, filed a similar writ in the District Court, demanding Page One settle a HK$559,529.23 bill. It said it had received only HK$200,000.

Page One opened its first Hong Kong store in the 1990s, offering a wide range of books, magazines and gifts. However, in recent years it had struggled as more customers opted for cheaper online sales.

Last year it closed its store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, after 18 years. It had also lost all six of its ­airport ­outlets in recent years.

Australian-based Dymocks, once the city’s largest English language bookstore chain, has also been battered by high rents and shifting reading habits. It ended its 15-year presence with the closure of its flagship IFC store and local office in January last year.