On a quiet December morning while some people are out there getting last-minute presents, others are making that final push to sell as much product as they can before the holidays, and still others are already at home sipping egg nog, I sit here thinking about how great 2016 has been and how much there is to look forward to next year. In about one week, many in the business and retail world will turn the page with their eyes set on next year’s targets and with high hopes that 2017 will harvest their biggest crop yet. While this is also true for Book Depot, our success is dependent on yours and we’re thrilled with many of 2016’s achievements and how they will directly impact us both while we turn this page together.
From February 9 to 16, 2017, Book Depot will be launching a first-time event aptly named Great North Bookfest. On the forefront, it represents a terrific purchasing opportunity at a time of the year when restocking is necessary and there are no other industry trade shows or large gatherings taking place. It’s a one-stop shop where you can find approximately 60,000 titles under one roof, many of them originating from some of the best English-language publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, St Martin’s Press, Sterling, Workman, plus many others.
Great North Bookfest also represents a cultural meeting of the minds for people in the bookselling industry, with a Canadian flare from your friends in the North. GNB, as some of us call it, presents an opportunity to view and purchase from the largest title depth in the bargain book industry by opening the doors to our 450,000-square-foot warehouse in a way that we never have before. Daily tours of our operation will be taking place, where you will have the chance to go behind the scenes to view our lengthy, automated conveyor systems; robots stacking inbound product; and at the centre of it all, a 180-foot-long, massive sortation machine. On the outside, these investments may appear to be unrelated to your supply from us, but in truth, they are bringing more than double the amount of inventory into our system weekly at an incredible pace. These details and more will be discussed during our daily tours.
We are holding two retail focus days (Friday, February 10 and Monday, February 13) that will include a tour of our own retail store, Book Outlet, along with a luncheon, presentation from our store manager, and a roundtable discussion to share success stories and general information about what has worked well in each other’s stores. Our hope is that everyone will leave inspired, with fresh new ideas and concepts to try out that may add to an exciting year ahead.
Of the many things Canada—and more specifically, the Niagara Region—has to offer, some of the things we are better known for are that we make great wine here and that we have a love of hockey—our national sport. As we promised a Canadian flare to this event, we will be doing a group outing on Friday evening (February 10) to a Niagara Ice Dogs hockey game. If you’ve never been to a game before, the fast-paced action and great environment make for a fun night out. On Monday evening (February 13), we will be holding a wine and cheese event where we will show off some of the excellent local wine our region is known for. For those who aren’t familiar with Niagara, we have more than 75 wineries, including a number that produce our famous icewine (for which the grapes are harvested just as soon as the temperature reaches a chilly -8°C/17.6°F). Who knows, while you’re in the region, you may even get to see Niagara Falls frozen over with ice!
If you have never visited the Book Depot warehouse before, our full inventory can be accessed through three levels within our warehouse that are clean, warm, organized, and easy to browse. We have handheld scanners that provide a full, real-time inventory and allow you to secure your selected titles immediately. In addition to this, we have recently renovated our showroom (summer 2016), increasing its capacity to 20,000 titles. This space also offers you incredibly straightforward and comfortable browsing, and has a kitchenette and WIFI for you to use.
If you’re still looking for reasons to attend GNB, look no further! It’s a perfect combination of a purchasing opportunity and industry/cultural gathering, while featuring some of the great hospitality us Canadians like to share.
Please reserve your spot today at Great North Bookfest for any day (or days!) you are planning to attend. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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All the best!