Popular Secondhand Bookstore in Bras Basah Complex Closing Due to High Rental


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Think of secondhand bookstores, and you’ll definitely think of Bras Basah Complex.

The era of getting secondhand textbooks from Knowledge Book Centre will soon be in the past, as it is closing by the end of 2022. Here’s why.

Disappointing News on TikTok

A TikTok was the harbinger of news of the upcoming closure, which you can watch here.

The video’s caption said that the TikToker talked to the owner and he looked so sad, which mirrors many of the commenter’s feelings about the closure.

Many reminisced how this store was a lifesaver for them back in school, where they would find their school books here for cheap.

But why is the beloved bookstore closing?

High Costs of Rental

Speaking to MS News, the owner of the secondhand bookstore Mr Ismail shared a few reasons for the store’s closure.

Firstly, the rental was getting too high. This was compounded by how business took a hit when the pandemic started, with fewer people visiting the bookstore.

Thankfully, the government provided monetary assistance to help him cope during the pandemic. However, with a drop in sales, the store’s revenue could no longer cover the rental costs and staff salaries.

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No One to Take Over Bookstore After Retirement

The 69-year-old Mr Ismail also shared that he wishes to retire soon.

He added that he couldn’t find anyone willing to take over the bookstore, as his family members all had their own careers.


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Despite the difficult decision to close the bookstore, Mr Ismail fondly recalled how he had met a lot of customers and regulars throughout the years. He hopes to find a potential owner who could carry on the business, but if not, he will proceed to close the store in July.

Anyone interested in taking over the store can contact Mr Ismail at 90234533.

Otherwise, the store is currently having a 50% sale on all book items, so head down now to go buy all the books you want before it’s too late.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Knowledge Book Centre)