Hachette UK has officially opened its huge "cutting-edge" distribution centre in Didcot after four years of planning and construction.
The 242,000ft² Hely Hutchinson Centre has been billed as the most advanced of its kind in Europe and eventually aims to distribute half of all books in Britain. The first publisher, Octopus, moved there in August 2018, with the rest of Hachette’s imprints and third party publishers transferring by the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Bookpoint, Hachette’s distribution centre in Didcot, will remain in service as a bulk storage area for the Hely Hutchinson Centre. Littlehampton Book Services has been closed down with its former manager Joanne Westbrook moving across to become c.o.o. of Hachette UK Distribution.
She said: “The centre provides an unrivalled, world class service for our publishers, authors and customers now and in the future. We are enormously proud of the cutting-edge systems and technology and the amazingly talented and knowledgeable team that deliver this. We are in the process of welcoming our current customers into the centre and we look forward to demonstrating our capabilities to potential new customers in the months ahead.”
The centre was officially opened by the firm’s former c.e.o Tim Hely Hutchinson yesterday (Tuesday 9th April).
David Shelley, c.e.o of Hachette UK, said: “The Hely Hutchinson Centre is a sign of Hachette’s present and future commitment to great service and of our ambition to become an even bigger player in print distribution than we already are. Our aim is to become the UK’s centre of excellence for distributing Hachette’s books all over the world as well as those of our very valued third-party publishing clients - and we hope many more clients who are yet to join us.
“Our ambition is to deliver one in every two books sold in the UK because, quite simply, we have the best site, the best technology and the best people working with us.”
The Bookseller was given an exclusive tour of the new facility, to be published in the 12th April edition.