Ingram Mobilizes to Support Indie Bookstores as Baker & Taylor Exits Wholesale Business

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In response to the news that Baker & Taylor would be exiting the book retail wholesale business, Ingram Content Group has announced an array of initiatives to support independent booksellers.

“We know change is hard,” Chief Commercial Officer for Ingram Content Group Shawn Everson told BTW. “We want to help the indies through this challenge.”

As Everson explained, many of these initiatives were already on the radar for Ingram, such as the new stock check app and shipment tracking option. As Ingram aims to earn the trust of indie bookstores, Everson said, the company will continue to listen to concerns and move quickly to make changes.

The following initiatives from Ingram are already underway:

  • Quick and effective evaluation of credit limits for all independent stores to accommodate the change in the wholesale landscape; credit limits for accounts under $1 million are complete, while the transition is happening now for those over $1 million.
  • Fast-tracking new accounts if they were only working with B&T; all accounts will be set up by the end of this week.
  • Immediate review of stocking levels in all distribution centers to be sure books are there when indies need them; Ingram has been in frequent and ongoing conversations with publishers to ensure inventory levels and is looking at delivery options to speed supply to the northeast and western parts of the country, especially around the holidays.
  • Moving low-volume tier stores to standard terms, effective June 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020, to proactively help stores qualify for improved terms.
  • Emphasizing the Booklove program and reinforcing the idea that there is margin in Booklove participation; the program includes all sales with Ingram, both wholesale and through IPS/distribution clients, making it easier for stores to hit the rebate threshold. Additionally, Booklove is now featured on booksellers’ ipage dashboard.
  • Launching an automatic shipment tracking e-mail, for which hundreds of booksellers have signed up.
  • Launching Ingram’s Stock Check app to help booksellers get even faster information about what’s in stock by scanning a book’s barcode with their smartphones.

Booksellers with additional questions about Ingram’s initiatives can contact Ingram Vice President of Customer Care Nina McClain.