Book Depository Is Closing; Three Guesses Who’s To Blame by jcarojames
Since 2004, online retailer Book Depository has provided free international shipping of over 20 million book titles; from KidLit to Self Help to Epic Fantasy. With home offices across the world, prices in over 37 currencies, and a company-wide mission of “All Books To All”, Book Depository has been a consumer favourite. It became especially popular post-Brexit as Amazon shipping prices in and out of the UK increased dramatically.
On the morning of April 4th, 2023, Book Depository unexpectedly announced on Twitter that the company would be permanently closing its figurative doors at midday on April 26th.
“We are sorry to let you know that Book Depository will be closing on 26 April 2023.
You can still place orders until midday (12pm BST) on 26 April 2023 and we will continue to deliver your purchases and provide support for any order issues until 23 June 2023.
From all of us at Book Depository we want to say “thank you”. Delivering your favourite reads to you since 2007 has been a pleasure.”
– Book Depository website Closure announcement
WHY IS BOOK DEPOSITORY CLOSING?
More than a decade ago, Book Depository was a significant rival to Amazon in the realm of bookselling. But in early 2011 Amazon acquired the Gloucester-based franchise and folded it into its “Devices and Books” business portfolio. The acquisition initially worried the publishers and readers alike, as they feared what has quickly come to pass: Amazon’s monopoly on the US and UK book trade has become unbeatable.
In January of this year, Amazon announced that they would be “eliminating positions” due to the “uncertain economy” – communicating to vendors and publishers this week that the first thing to go will be the immensely popular Book Depository. Book Depository has been labeled a redundancy to Amazon’s own international book trade, although Amazon does not always offer free delivery and does not ship to as many locations as Book Depository.
It has not been made clear how many jobs are being cut during this closure, or if Amazon’s own delivery options will be updated.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CLOSURE:
- The official closure date is set for April 26th, 2023, with last possible orders placed at 12pm BST on the 26th.
- Deliveries and customer support on purchases made prior to April 26th will continue until June 23rd, 2023. (Delivery windows are expected to be normal).
- Pre-orders that have a release date prior to April 26th will still be delivered. Pre-orders with later release dates will not.
- It is recommended that you cancel any pre-orders that will not be delivered. Cancellation policies and forms are detailed on the website.
- You can download your Book Depository wishlist using the “download wishlist” button on the site.
BOOK COMMUNITY REACTIONS
Immediately after Book Depository’s closure news broke, the book-loving communities of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter expressed their outrage. Reactions ranged from sorrow over the loss of an exceptional retailer, to frustration over where to turn after the closure while scavenging for discount codes or bulk buying while they still can.
And unsurprisingly, many shared their outright fury at Amazon for destroying yet another beloved independent retailer – especially one that they had already acquired.