Waterstones has extended its long-term partnership with manufacturer Unipart Logistics for an additional five years.
According PR Newswire, Unipart will continue to distribute books and related products to 280 shops and to customers at home, from its 150,000 sq ft hub in Burton-on-Trent. The retailer originally appointed the supply chain partner on a 10-year contract in 2007.
Over the past 18 months, Unipart has reconfigured the service to the stores to deliver a next day delivery service through “The Unipart Way”, which is the company's business system for continuous improvement. Unipart has also helped Waterstones increase availability of new and old titles whilst reducing the overall inventory holding, the company said.
Beccy Preece, head of supply chain services at Waterstones, said that Unipart had helped the company introduce a “greater, non-book range”.
She said: "We've extended our contract because Unipart really understands our business and provides an excellent service.
“Over the past 10 years our needs have changed - along with the change in the way our customers buy books - and with the introduction of a greater, non-book range Unipart have adapted to support our needs and so have helped our business to grow."
Claire Walters, chief commercial officer at Unipart Logistics, said: "We are incredibly proud of our long-term partnership with Waterstones and our contribution to the turnaround of the business over the last few years through intelligent supply chain decisions."
She revealed the manufacturer was “looking forward to taking our partnership to a new level, through implementing innovative ideas and digital technology to further enhance the Waterstones supply chain”.
The partnership between Waterstones and Unipart saw the companies collaboratively win four awards at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards in 2015.