The online shop Book Depository is due to close at the end of April, vendors and publishing partners have been told. This came after the bookseller’s parent company Amazon announced it had decided to “eliminate” a number of positions across its Devices and Books businesses.
The Gloucester-based bookseller was founded in 2004 by Stuart Felton and Andrew Crawford, a former Amazon employee, with the mantra of “selling ‘less of more’ rather than ‘more of less’”. It aims to sell 6m titles covering a wide variety of genres and topics, as opposed to focusing solely on bestsellers. While originally a rival to Amazon, it was acquired by the retail giant in 2011, causing some in the publishing industry to worry about the tightening of the American company’s “stranglehold” on the UK book trade.
According to the trade magazine the Bookseller, an email sent out to vendors and publishing partners explained that the Book Depository will be closing, and that the last date customers will be able to place orders is April 26. “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,” wrote Andy Chart, head of vendor management.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you, from everyone at the 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 concluded.
This move is part of wider cutbacks at Amazon outlined in a blog post in January. “In November, we communicated the hard decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses,” as a result of the “uncertain economy,” CEO Andy Jassy wrote. “I also shared that we weren’t done with our annual planning process and that I hoped there would be more role reductions in early 2023.” In total, the company was planning to make just over 18,000 redundant people, Jassy added. Amazon has not shared how many jobs will be lost specifically at the Book Depository.