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Firm sees resurgence in book sales

Diversification pays off for Bookspeed

BookspeedMatthew Perren sales director – Fiona Stout commercial director – Lewis Dawson

A specialist supplier of books, toys and gifts has more than doubled its operational capacity after diversifying its business.

Bookspeed’s expansion comes after the company exceeded growth expectations by bolstering sales from around £6million in 2015 to just under £9m in 2017.

Its new facility on Edinburgh’s Albert Road, close to the firm’s headquarters at Salamander Yards in Leith, increases operational space to more than 25,000sq ft.

The family-owned business, which marked its 30th anniversary last year, has carved out a niche for itself by creating bespoke ranges of books, gifts and toys to meet different retailer needs. 

Its portfolio of clients range from independent businesses and multi-site national companies to heritage attractions and other specialist retail sectors while the company is also the exclusive UK distributor for a number of overseas brands behind some of the most sought-after design led gifts and toys. 

Lewis Dawson, commercial director, said: “This new facility is integral to our plans for ongoing growth. In recent years, we have invested significantly in all parts of our business including our IT infrastructure which now allows us to operate out of the two sites concurrently.

“In 2015, we set out to double our turnover and have already surpassed growth expectations three years ahead of our plans and increased our team by 20% to more than 40 staff.

“We have also grown our customer base and geographical reach across the UK, while continuing to work with long-term customers and trading partners. Our focus is to build on this success and continue to expand in the coming years as we add new ranges and exclusive non-book product lines to our portfolio.” 

The firm is the sole UK distributor for the inspiring Peleg Design home and gift range, the funky array of Donkey Products gifts, the irresistible character lamps from renowned German manufacturer, Heico, and Egmont Toy’s adorable children’s range spanning plush toys and traditional wooden toys.

Expansion reinforces its commitment to investing in Edinburgh and local employment since it was set up in 1986 by Mr Dawson’s parents, who remain as board members. The company’s senior management team also includes managing director, Matthew Perren, and sales director, Fiona Stout.

Mr Dawson said: “We have always maintained that the physical book has a bright future, particularly for our markets where books are purchased not just for their content, but for their design, format, colours and textures. Through adding gifts and toys to our more than 50,000-strong book range, we are substantially extending our offering.”

Despite the company’s diversification into other non-book products, the majority of its growth is still coming from sales of physical books.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in demand for the printed book which has largely been led in the gift market by many of Bookspeed’s customers who have championed curated book ranges as a key part of their retail mix.

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