To support booksellers nationwide who are working under extraordinary circumstances, Penguin Random House will accelerate to summer the start of its annual Two-Day Transit Program. The initiative is designed to help accounts manage the complex process of providing books to readers while navigating various marketplace challenges, including COVID guidelines, new consumer buying patterns, and store reopenings.
The 2020–2021 initiative begins July 1, 2020, and extends through March 1, 2021.
Now spanning eight months, the expedited-shipping event is also the largest in the industry, as it encompasses every frontlist and backlist title from the imprints of the Knopf Doubleday, Penguin Publishing Groups, Random House, Random House Children’s Books, Penguin Young Readers, Penguin Random House Audio divisions, and DK Publishing — as well as all the clients of Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
This is the ninth year for the ever-evolving and expanding program, which was originally designed to cover the fall holiday season. Weather and transport conditions permitting, the company will ship orders out of its Westminster, Maryland, and Crawfordsville, Indiana, operations centers for its Penguin Random House-affiliated publishers’ physical-format titles. Orders received from indies by 3:00 p.m. ET Monday-Friday will ship the next business day, to arrive as Two-Day Transit.
In addition, Two-Day Transit will launch out of the new Penguin Random House facility in Reno, Nevada, when the transition to Penguin Random House operating systems is completed in mid-August. Penguin Random House assumed management of the former Baker & Taylor facility earlier this year, and has spent the last several months designing and implementing state-of-the-art systems that will bring the warehouse into full alignment with the Westminster and Crawfordsville facilities later this summer. The Reno facility will expand services to West Coast retailers, and provide capacity for new services and projects.
All three centers have been operating under strict COVID-19 guidelines, with employee safety as their top priority.
Jaci Updike, president, U.S. sales, Penguin Random House said, “We know that rapid replenishment is a major driver of profit for retailers, so we decided to relaunch Penguin Random House Two-Day Transit much earlier this year. So much is unpredictable right now; we want to support booksellers by making our supply chain as predictable — and speedy — as possible. We have many important books that are at the heart of the national conversation, and we want booksellers to be able to spend more time selling books, and less time online and on the phone worrying when their reorders will arrive. We kicked off this program almost ten years ago to support indies at the holidays, and we remain committed to that goal. It’s just that this year, the holiday we’re starting with happens to be in July — Happy Independents Day.”