Gardners will look to create a mobile phone app for Hive after its official launch. The book wholesaler has been working with e-consultancy firm Tangent One to build the Hive website, which will sell books directly to consumers.
Online shoppers will have the choice of collecting Hive purchases from their local bookshop, encouraging footfall into stores, and Gardners is offering to give indies up to 25% remuneration on Hive books, e-books, DVDs and stationery sold in the form of a credit note.
Gardners has not revealed when the Hive website will officially launch, saying it is still in the process of signing up bookshops as Hive members. However, the company is already looking at exploring areas to grow Hive after it takes off.
Damian Bentley, managing director at Tangent One, said: "We’re already looking into the next stages of growth for Hive – with mobile apps and more in the pipeline."
A spokeswoman for Gardners said a mobile phone app was just one of the options the company was exploring with Tangent One, however no decision has yet been made.
She added: "We are keeping all our options open and nothing is set in stone. Mobile apps is just one of the ideas we are discussing."
Speaking at the Independent Publishers' Guild Conference, Gardners buying director Simon Morley said Hive will launch "in the next couple of months" and that "London Book Fair will be quite a focus for us".
For every Hive customer who chooses to have their online purchase delivered home, the independent with the nearest postcode will receive 5% renumeration 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, then the indie will receive more – 10-25% on trade books, 5-15% on short discount books (such as academic titles) and 5% on stationery and DVDs.