Online retailer The Book Depository has revealed a 50 per cent hike in revenue to £62m in the year to June 30 as it lays out plans to take on the £9bn US book market.
The UK’s largest dedicated online bookseller this week launched its US site, BookDepository.com. It already operates from BookDepository.co.uk, which serves 92 countries. US sales account for 3 per cent of the retailer’s revenues, but managing director Kieron Smith said there is scope to increase this “dramatically”.
Smith said: “There are a lot of books we can sell from the new site that we couldn’t sell from the UK one, because of rights and pricing issues. The US market is vast: if we can secure a small percentage of that you’re looking at significant figures.
“This is a crucial step towards developing our brand internationally.”
The retailer will use its existing distribution centre in Gloucester, in the UK, with a view to opening one in the US if volumes demand it.
More than 50 per cent of The Book Depository’s sales are generated overseas, and there are plans to increase this. Smith said: “The book market in the UK is tough compared to other markets.”
He said mainland Europe has the potential to host local sites, although there are no definite plans yet.
The retailer will launch another site later in the year – Espressio.com, which will enable users to publish their own books. It is also considering selling e-books “relatively soon”.