Blackwell has announced that they have signed an exclusive agreement with On Demand Books to bring the first Espresso Book Machine to a UK Bookseller this year. The Espresso has now been successfully launched in nine installation sites including The Library of Alexandria, Egypt, the University of Alberta, Canada and several locations in the US including the World Bank and Northshire Bookstore in Vermont.
The Espresso book machine is able to print library quality paperbacks from digital files in minutes, and is revolutionising the book world.
The arrangement includes a number of agreed trial shops to begin with, followed by a roll-out opportunity across the Blackwell chain as well as possibilities overseas both in future international retail sites and in library supply. Details of agreed trial shops have yet to be finalised. There is a confidential exclusivity agreement in place that will allow Blackwell and On Demand Books to create critical mass and to leverage the exciting possibilities that the technology makes possible.
Vince Gunn, CEO of Blackwell UK said, "When I first read about the Espresso book machine in The Bookseller, I was very keen to see it in action. From a retailer's point of view, even allowing for the first generation technology and publisher challenges, this is a fantastic opportunity - we can sell to demand with no risk to inventory and there is an opportunity to create incremental revenue streams for ourselves and publishers. The feedback from Todd Anderson in Canada confirms what is possible when retailers and publishers work together. Through our relationship with the publishing community we are looking forward to leveraging our unique brand position and international network to drive this exciting new technology forward. We are very much looking forward to working with Dane and the On Demand team."
Dane Neller, CEO of On Demand Books said, "Blackwell is a superb partner of choice for us to launch in the UK market. They have an outstanding pedigree of book history behind them with a reputation for innovation. Their academic and specialist credentials both here and overseas are well suited for the Espresso book machine and we believe together we can maximise this exciting development in the book market."
The date for launch is yet to be determined but is expected to be in autumn 2008.
Blackwell is the leading retailer of medical books and education books in the UK with over 60 outlets across England, Scotland and Wales. It has built an international reputation for bookselling excellence with links to academic institutions and libraries around the globe and has continued to expand its UK base on high streets and in university campuses up and down the country.
In 1995, www.blackwell.co.uk became the first transactional online bookstore in the UK, giving people across the world access to over 150, 000 titles. In 1998, Blackwell opened its central London flagship store in Charing Cross Road, the book-lovers' Mecca. Since this time, two flagship stores, Broad Street and Charing Cross Road, have both won Chain Bookseller of the Year at the Nibbies, the annual British Book Awards.
Blackwell has now been trading for over 125 years from its world-famous flagship store at Broad Street in Oxford. Its staff continues to be renowned for their expertise, depth of knowledge and love of books since the first Blackwell shop opened its doors.
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