New chapter as books and toys firm Bookspeed ups capacity

An Edinburgh-based, family-owned specialist supplier of books, toys and gifts has grown its operational capacity by about half after investing 'significantly' in further warehouse facilities.

From left: Bookspeed MD Matthew Perren, sales director Fiona Stout and commercial boss Lewis Dawson. Picture: Neil Hanna

Leith-headquartered Bookspeed said its expansion comes after it exceeded growth expectations by increasing sales to just under £9 million in 2017, up from around £6m in 2015.

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The firm, which creates bespoke books, gifts and toys catered to different retailers, said its new facility on Albert Road in the capital boosts operational space from around 13,500 square feet to more than 25,000sq ft.

Its clients range from independent businesses and multi-site national companies to heritage attractions and other specialist retail sectors, and include retailer Oliver Bonas, the Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Castle, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environments Scotland and VisitScotland. It is also the exclusive UK distributor for various overseas brands such as German manufacturer Heico.

Commercial director Lewis Dawson said: “This new facility is integral to our plans for ongoing growth. In recent years, we have invested significantly in all parts of our business including our IT infrastructure, which now allows us to operate out of the two sites concurrently.

“In 2015, we set out to double our turnover and have already surpassed growth expectations three years ahead of our plans and increased our team by 20 per cent to more than 40 staff. We have also grown our customer base and geographical reach across the UK.

“Our focus is to build on this success and continue to expand in the coming years as we add new ranges and exclusive non-book product lines to our portfolio.”

Bookspeed was founded as a traditional wholesale business in Edinburgh in 1986 by Dawson’s parents Annie Rhodes and Kingsley Dawson, who are now board members.

It also said it has transformed from a field-based to fully-digital sales operation with 2,000 customers across the UK and with most of its growth still coming from sales of physical books.