Amazon has informed booksellers and publishing partners on its UK-based Book Depository that it will wind down operations by the 26th of April in another cost-cutting move.
Stuart Felton and Andrew Crawford — a former employee of Amazon — founded the company in 2004 in Gloucester with a focus on “selling less of more” as their guiding principle instead of “selling more of less.”
Amazon acquired the business in 2011 to complement its book business in the UK and globally, as the company focused on selling 20 million titles ranging from all topics, not just bestsellers.
Trade magazine The Bookseller first reported this closure, citing an email sent out to vendors and publishing partners explaining that the Book Depository would be closing by the end of April.
“Over the coming weeks we will complete a winding down of the business, including discontinuing our listings as a marketplace seller and closing our website,” Andy Chart, Head of Vendor Management at Book Depository wrote.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you, from everyone at Book Depository and our book-loving customers, for your supportive partnership over the years in helping us to make printed books more accessible to readers around the world,” he added.
But the news is now out on the site as well. “We are sorry to let you know that Book Depository will be closing on 26 April 2023,” a message read.
“You can still place orders until midday (12pm BST) on 26 April 2023 and we will continue to deliver your purchases and provide support for any order issues until 23 June 2023.”
For customers who placed pre-orders, they will be shipped as normal. However, in its FAQ discussing the closure, the company said any pre-orders that are delayed beyond the 26 April deadline would not be shipped, and a refund will be issued.
Book Depository Latest Victim of Cost Cutting
The demise of the Book Depository can only be attributed to the company’s re-evaluating all parts of its business.
The cost-cutting moves have become necessary as ecommerce growth has stalled. For the full year of 2022, Amazon showed a net operating loss of $10.5 billion in its online retail business globally.
If it weren’t for the $22.8 billion in AWS profits, the company probably would have to seek even more job cuts trying to correct its financial picture. Still, even with the 22.8 billion in AWS profits, the net loss after adding additional expenses resulted in a $2.7 billion loss for the year among all of its operations.
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