(Yicai Global) April 25 -- Shanghai's government issued a policy paper on World Book Day (April 23) setting out measures to support physical bookstores, putting construction of bricks-and-mortar booksellers on the urban development agenda.
The paper requires each new residential community with up to 80,000 people to dedicate no less than 200 square meters of space to a bookstore. There are plans for stores in neighborhoods, commercial areas, communities, school districts, transportation hubs and other places.
The government is also taking steps to make it easier to open a bookshop and will promote the building of micro- to mid-sized specialist and niche sellers. It also plans to encourage specialty bookstore brands with an international reputation to set up shop in the city.
The policy paper encourages real estate developers, integrated commercial facilities and public services to provide rent-free or low-rent business premises to bookstores while giving financial support to excellent vendors.
In 2012, plans were unveiled to support physical bookstores in Shanghai, which proved a powerful impetus to the industry's recovery. About 20 bookstores with high brand recognition are expected to open by the end of this year.