Posted on June 12, 2017 by staff

Online book retailer acquires gift business


Online and workplace-based book retailer Book People has acquired Qwerkity, a leading mail order and online gift business.

Northamptonshire-based Qwerkity was founded in 1989 by Jane Hudson as a mail order business selling a wide range of high quality gifts at affordable prices.

It now has a substantial online business having acquired significant new customers through digital channels, distributes eight million catalogues per year and has a strong market position with older customers.

In the year ended January 2017, its revenue had grown to £9.1 million.

Surrey-based Book People has been through a similar evolution since it was established in 1988, and today sells through its online and mail order channel, along with its local bookseller network.

This unique mix of sales channels provides the company with a strong platform for future growth with revenues in the year to December 2016 of £79m.

William Wellesley, the CEO of Book People, said: “Bringing Qwerkity into the Book People family gives us a great opportunity to grow its business using our digital, buying and fulfilment expertise.

“Our expansion into the gifting market, through this acquisition, also represents the natural next step for Book People.”

Since its acquisition by Endless in 2014, Book People has developed its eCommerce business significantly to include specialist analytics, merchandising, customer acquisition and customer retention teams.

In addition, Book People has expanded the content and information available on its site in order to reinforce its reputation as the authoritative provider of books and expertise for children’s reading.

Francesco Santinon, partner at Endless, said: “Book People is a well-known, well-established and profitable business with great future earnings potential in its own right.

“We are very happy to be able to support the acquisition of Qwerkity which is an ideal bolt-on and will allow us to fully utilise the core strengths of Book People.”