Indie retailers across the country have been issued with the final proposals for Hive.co.uk and are considering whether to sign up. As first revealed by The Bookseller last month, book wholesaler Gardners has created Hive.co.uk, a website which will sell the company’s books, e-books, DVDs and stationery straight to the public, but offer independent retailers the chance to be affiliated with it and receive a monetary return.
Various pricing and remuneration proposals were sent to retailers in February, following a mixed early reception. The feedback results have now been collated, with two different remuneration models decided upon.
For every Hive customer who chooses to have their online purchase delivered home, the independent bookseller with the nearest postcode will receive 5% remuneration on short discount lines, low margin offer books and 3% on e-books, DVDs and stationery in the form of a Gardners credit note. However, if customers choose to collect their Hive purchase at their preferred bookshop, then indies will be able to pocket more – 10-25% on trade books, 5-15% on short discount books (such as academic titles) and 5% on stationery and DVDs.
Gardners said it hoped that the offer of free postage and packaging would entice customers to choose to collect their book from a local retailer, increasing footfall into indie stores.
Hive is also offering indies a unique URL link to their members’ web page, which shop managers can use to update with information about their store’s events, services and opening times. Point-of-sale material such as Hive logos will also be provided by Gardners.
In return, retailers are asked to promote Hive "by any suitable means" within the shop or marketing strategy and make a purchase at least once every week from Gardners.
The proposal warns that if customers fail to provide "the highest level of customer service and experience" they will risk being denied the ability to participate in the Hive Store Network.
Retailers are also asked to process their goods in on the same day or subsequent working day in order to ensure good customer service to collecting Hive customers.
Gardners said: "Individual responses from hundreds of conversations, emails and meetings has highlighted the diversity of independent retailing. The overwhelming view has been one of support for the project and keen enthusiasm for the opportunity it will provide."