Claire Bayliss has been appointed as group c.e.o. of The Book People, and has promised to spearhead a transformation at the company, saying it has become “invisible” in recent years.
Bayliss has taken over from Simon Mason, formerly TBP's chief operating officer, who was given the c.e.o. role in January but has now left the company.
Bayliss will lead a strategic review of the business as it invests in a new e-commerce platform, extra school book buses and additional field support.
She has worked for The Book People’s owner, private equity firm Endless LLP, since 2012, including four years as chief marketing officer at Bathstore, leading its own brand and digital transformation. She has held senior positions at other big brands including including George at ASDA, JJB Sports and Matalan.
The firm said Bayliss would spend the coming months focusing on building the company’s direct to schools business and launching the Big Book Boost, a programme which will donate over a million books to schools by 2022.
Bayliss explained: “The opportunity to join The Book People was something I couldn’t turn down. We have been the curator of the most wonderful book collections for over 30 years, yet in recent times we have become invisible. We are a book business with purpose and more relevant than ever. Our new and unique school affinity programme, Big Book Boost, demonstrates this. For every order over £10 we promise to donate £1 to your school of choice to boost their library. We are pledging to donate 1 million books over the next three years.
“Every child has the right to read and we’re passionate about inspiring young minds and encouraging them to step away from their devices and embrace the joy of reading. We have exciting plans to transform the brand, our aim being to really nurture creativity and inspiration in the minds of children - I can’t wait to get it underway.”
This autumn will also see The Book People launch a publicity drive for the first time on TV, in cinemas and via the press.
James Woolley, partner at Endless, said: “We’re confident Claire is the leader to drive the business forward in its next stage of growth. Claire’s extensive experience means she is well positioned to undertake the brand transformation programme, ensuring The Book People is relevant for book lovers of all ages.”