From what started with two people in a small Gloucester office, The Book Depository now has a turnover of more than £297 million and claims to be ‘the world’s most international online bookstore’.
Founded by Andrew Crawford in May 2004, the firm benefitted from the huge growth of online retail, courted Amazon and sold to the American Behemoth in 2011 for an undisclosed sum, when turnover was already £69 million.
It was a deal which, far from spelling the end of The Book Depository’s days in Gloucester, saw Amazon invest in a new distribution centre in Quedgeley in 2018, with staff numbers rising to 155 and revenue passing £200 million.
Its latest, just published full-year accounts, show growth continued through the pandemic.
Christopher McKee, director of the Quedgeley-based business, said: ‘Revenue increased by £60 million to £297.6 million (up from £237.6 million in 2019) driven by continuing global expansion and increased demand due to Covid 19.’
The move to its new Gloucester home was seen as an investment and commitment in the city by Amazon and a vote of confidence in the 16-acre Gateway 12 business park at Hardwicke, near Waterwells Business Park.
So while gross profit was down, from £24.4 million to £19.4 million, the staff number increased again – from 183 to 219.
By Andrew Merrell