Over 80 members of the trade from 30 publishers are attending a Blackwell's presentation today (5th June)—the first time the retailer has held such a meeting in over a decade.
The company, crowned Retailer of the Year at the British Book Awards last month, hasn't hosted a trade-wide presentation since 2005. The event has returned in a bid to strengthen its partnerships and engagement with publishers as its sales continue to grow.
Taking place in The Great Room at the RSA in London, the trade meeting will see the Blackwell’s team present the retailer's latest sales numbers and forecasts; its trade promotional plans, including for Christmas; events and joint marketing opportunities; and how it is working collaboratively with shops. Darrell Thrush-Denning, manager of our Edinburgh shop, will present a perspective from the shop floor and the company will also detail its online and multi-channel plans.
Blackwell's sales were up 12% to £48.3m for the year to June 2017 and were up 20% for the six months from July 2017, according to its latest results. While the sales surge was largely attributed to online growth at the time, Blackwell's said it is growing in all channels including flagship shops, academic shops and corporate sales. Blackwell's also reported trade sales were growing particularly quickly, in part driven by its new Oxford Westgate shop, but also due to its focus on trade categories such as children’s, fiction and food and drink.
Chief executive David Prescott appealed for more support from publishers.
"Our sales are growing in all channels and to keep this momentum going we need more support than ever from our publisher and wholesale partners, both in academic and trade channels," he said. "We are also now delivering bigger and better trade campaigns and with a growing number of events, launches and marketing promotions. Sharing these campaigns, objectives and getting more publisher support can only help us all provide a better service and more choice to book buyers."
Dean Drew, Blackwell's sales and marketing director, added: "We hope that all our publisher partners will see how Blackwell’s are growing and how we can work together to grow trade sales and put more books into the hands of more people."