Gardners has received backing for its Hive consumer website from publishers including Hachette UK's c.e.o. after it presented its new initiative to more than 300 publishers.
In a press statement issued by Gardners, Tim Hely Hutchinson, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said: "We at Hachette are determined to support independent bookshops, very much including their involvement in online marketing, and if Hive helps with that, as seems intended by the innovative team at Gardners, we will be all for it."
Geoff Duffield, Pan Macmillan group sales and marketing director, said: "Hive is an excellent idea, giving independent booksellers a real and substantial online trading opportunity that works locally, but is branded nationally."
James Horobin, group sales, marketing and brand development director at Simon & Schuster UK, said the launch was "a brilliantly well thought through initiative that will give independents access to online sales".
Ian Spanton, sales manager UK for Lonely Planet, said: "At Lonely Planet we see Hive as an exciting and natural extension of the long and close working relationship we have had with Gardners in helping get awareness of, and successful sales for, Lonely Planet with Gardners' independent bookseller customers."
Christian Herisson, Usborne sales and marketing director, said: "We hope that this new initiative from Gardners will breathe new life into independent bookselling, allowing booksellers to reach new audiences and offering consumers more choice in how they shop for books."
The wholesaler has yet to confirm a live date for the website, which will remunerate independent bookshops for titles sold through it. Pricing policy is also currently under discussion.
Simon Morley, buying director for Gardners, said: "We have presented so far to over 300 publishers of every size and publishing genre. All have been enthusiastic and hugely supportive of this initiative. It’s a key step forward for them to work at a national and local level to further their sales of physical and e-books through the hugely respected and vital independent book trade."