The future of bookstore Borders in Singapore remained uncertain, as the shutters at its flagship store stayed down for a third day, local daily Straits Times reported on Friday.
Another outlet at the Parkway Parade appeared to be on business as usual, though staff at the store said they did not know what was going on.
The newspaper quoted sources as saying that the shutdown of its flagship store at Wheelock Place was the result of the bookstore chain being in rental arrears for at least two months.
Book suppliers were getting more nervous, with three saying that they have already cut down on their supplies. Another supplier said it has halted supplies to the chain altogether.
In a statement on Tuesday, the chain denied the closure of its flagship store had anything to do with the closure of branches in Australia and the United States.
Borders Signapore's Australian parent REDgroup Retail entered voluntary administration mired in debt.
The Borders Group in the United States, which sold the Singapore store to REDgroup in 2008, declared bankruptcy in February. Some said it is partly because of the impact of online bookstores in a new age.
Borders Singapore pioneered the concept of lifestyle bookshops in Singapore 13 years ago. The Wheelock Place flagship has a bistro, a huge music selection and late opening hours, making it popular among young and old.
The suppliers said they wanted a clearer picture because they supply on consignment.
"Their parent company is in trouble. Who knows when they will close for good?" said a spokesman for the supplier on anonymity.
The Straits Times said the chain has appointed judicial managers, approved auditors who help companies draft proposals to prove in court that their business is still viable. The companies that appoint judicial managers are typically deep in debt and expect their creditors to attempt to wind them up in court, specialists said.