The bookselling website Hive has reinstated its home delivery service following the re-opening of Gardners.com.
The platform, which is run by Gardners, has resumed single-order home delivery, enabling customers to order one book at a time, and purchase e-books again. However Nigel Wyman, head of business development at Gardners, has confirmed the company has had to furlough staff, with just 80 of 800 now working.
In a statement a spokesperson for the company said: “Following on from our announcement yesterday re-enabling our home delivery system for single item ordering for customers, we are delighted to now be able to further extend to Hive.co.uk.
"Hive is back up and running for in-stock products, further enhancing the range eBooks and eAudiobooks that have been available for the last few days. As with Gardners, customers are restricted to ordering a single product per order so we can maintain a safe working environment for staff, adhering to the government guidelines.
"We are delighted to have Hive up and running, it also means we can get back to generating the commission for Independent booksellers once again! We are continuing to offer double commissions on books and even further enhanced commissions for selected publisher orders during the ongoing crisis.”
Wyman told The Bookseller: "Gardners.com and Hive had to shut down for the safety of the staff, but now that we have a great big building with only 80 people [inside] it, we can work quite well from a social distancing and a staff safety perspective.
"What we also do is make sure our picking station is automated — we've updated everything to go through the High Bay [automated crane and picker] so there's no manual pick stations anymore."
Despite the positive development, Wyman admitted: "It's been tough, we've had to furlough, we've gone from 800 staff to 80 and we are all multi-tasking right now to make sure we can keep this going for a while."