Nineteen staff at book sales and distribution company Publishers Group UK are facing redundancy as it prepares to close its Enfield warehouse. PGUK is consolidating its distribution at Grantham Book Services from 1st March.
PGUK m.d. Medwyn Hughes said: "With the way the publishing world is changing, it is unlikely that a warehouse of Enfield's size can compete in the future. There are far fewer independent bookshops and we are dealing with fewer and fewer accounts, and Waterstones and W H Smith are more geared to the larger distribution centres. We had a break in our lease, and have taken the decision to do it now before it becomes a necessity."
Staff working in customer services and in the warehouse will lost their jobs. Hughes said the development was "very sad," adding: "The warehouse has been going over 20 years and some people have been working there a very long time. It's a great shame."
PGUK will also relocate its offices, currently based above the Enfield warehouse, to Holborn in mid-March. "The reason for being in Enfield is the distribution centre, and as now distribution is by GBS, it's more appropriate to be in central London," Hughes said.
He added: "There will be no change in the sales and marketing side of the business. None of our publishers should notice any difference."
PGUK represents a large number of US publishers plus others. Clients include the National Geographic Society, Shambhala and New World Library.