Originally posted on Publisher’s Weekly on April 19, 2016 “Book Depot Betting Big on Its Returns Business“
By Judith Rosen
One of the largest bargain book wholesalers in North America, Book Depot, continues to be bullish about its returns business. The Ontario, Canada-based company is completing a $3 million project to add a large-scale mechanical sorter, robotics, and supporting technologies that will enable it to make book returns easier for publishers and retailers.
With the new equipment, which will be in use by May 24, Book Depot said it will be able to sort through the books that arrive at its warehouse—excess inventory and returns shipped by publishers—at the fastest pace in its 30-year history. The new equipment will enable Book Depot to sort more than 100,000 books per day, and free up 70,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space.
“While some bargain book wholesalers have scaled back or shuttered operations,” said Book Depot CIO and managing partner Bill Van Vliet, “[we] continue to invest in people and operations.” He went on: “As our tagline states, ‘The largest selection pays,’ and we are intent to over-deliver on that promise.”
Book Depot is the first company in the bargain book business to use state-of-the art automation to sort incoming inventory. The new equipment will enable the company to offer more publishers the option to outsource their returns processing to its facility.