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Wanna buy books by weight?
23/8/2005 7:29

Joyce Chen/Shanghai Daily news

An ongoing promotional activity at the Hymart-Hymall supermarket chain that allows locals to buy books according to weight has failed to spark a buying frenzy though it has raised some eyebrows.
All books at the promotion are priced at 9.90 yuan (US$1.22) for 500 grams.
Though there is no mad rush, many residents are buying books in a steady stream.
A middle-aged woman surnamed Li said she was choosing books for her son who was in junior high school. "The original price is too high for me, and now I can buy some world literary masterpieces at bargain prices."
Hypermarket officials said the books are not stock-in-trade nor have any quality problem.
Under the hypermarket's price, a Modern Chinese Lexicon published by the Heilongjiang People's Publishing House is sold at 103 yuan while its original price is as high as 895 yuan.
And a book with a price of 40 yuan can be bought for just 3 yuan.
But not everyone is in awe of the hypermarket's action.
Zhu zhiling, an editor with the Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House, said that while he could accept the sales mode of the hypermarket he didn't really appreciate the method.
"The price of a book should cover the author's credit, printing cost, and some other expenses," Zhu said, adding that how to sell books is not as important as the content and quality of the books.
He pointed out that most of the books at the promotion are not written by famous authors and seem to be lacking intellectual property rights.
"So they can be sold at a very low price," Zhu argued.
In addition to books, some costumes at the hypermarket are also priced at 29.90 yuan per 500 grams and towels are sold for 19.90 yuan per 500 grams.
The promotion, which began last Wednesday, will end today.
Officials from the Shanghai Price Bureau didn't find anything wrong with the hypermarket's activity, saying companies can set the price for such goods themselves.