US giant Ingram to enter UK market
The giant US wholesaler, distributor, and printer Ingram, which opened a print-on-demand facility in Sharjah, UAE in 2021, has announced it is to enter the UK market in September 2022. David Taylor, senior vice president of Ingram Content Group UK said: “We’re pleased to be able to confirm to the British book trade that Ingram is establishing a UK-based wholesale offer for books for any title that we can supply from our Milton Keynes operations.
“We will launch the full service in September 2022. Booksellers who already use Ingram Wholesale from our US base will be able to order using our ipage or EDI ordering systems. We have already had many conversations with publishers, distributors, and booksellers as we build and test our model and we’re very happy with the response thus far.”
The announcement has been welcomed by UK booksellers and publishers who say it will bring some much-needed competition to the UK market. The UK wholesaler Gardners has largely had the field to itself since the collapse of Bertrams in 2020, and while booksellers and publishers praise Gardners for its service – particularly during the pandemic – the overwhelmingly feeling is that competition is good for everyone.
Karen O’Sullivan, publisher at independent crime specialist Orenda, told the Bookseller that the move would be good for the industry, particularly for independent publishers. “At present, we really only have Gardners, who are wonderful and hugely supportive, but also have limited space and a mammoth task supplying books not just for the independent sector, but increasingly Amazon and Waterstones, too,” she said. “The industry has become largely monopolised in terms of chain retail and wholesale, and greater competition will mean opportunities for more productive negotiation of discounts, and also wider potential support. And this is particularly important right now for independent publishers, who need as much support as possible.”
At HarperCollins’ Anna Derkacz, group sales and rights director, said: “It is very exciting news that Ingram is to invest further into the book market in the UK. Competition is always to be welcome, and it’s a clear indication of the health and strength of the UK book market that we have this positive news for the industry.”