In France, Hachette Livre has 100,000 square meters of distribution space spread across four sites: Maurepas and Balizy (both just outside Paris), Lyon and Nantes. These facilities handle distribution for third-party and all Group imprints, approximately eighty publishers in all. Every day, the Maurepas Center and its regional distribution hubs process a million books and ship 15,000-20,000 packages throughout France, making Hachette Livre the largest book distributor in France. Hachette Livre also has a distribution center in Belgium.
A sales force markets the books to the various distribution circuits (bookstores, chain stores, supermarkets, online outlets, etc.) in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec. As ebook-stores and digital readers pour into the global market, Hachette Livre Distribution is prepared with an integrated digital distribution service open to all types of platforms. Developed by the Group’s French, Spanish, British and American innovation teams leveraging the latest, most high-performance technologies, this distribution system also offers extra services (such as conversion and file-saving, big data management, anti-piracy protection and commercial reporting) and not just for Group publishers, but all interested publishers, whether or not they are clients of Hachette Livre Distribution.
Publishing would be nothing without distribution. To publish is also to deliver a book to its readers, at the right place and the right time, be it in chain bookstores, high-street booksellers, drugstores or supermarkets. The business of distribution is based on logistics. Its complexity increases with the number of books processed. Most Hachette Livre distribution centers process up to one hundred thousand titles and can store more than a hundred million books. Invoicing, freight and managing returns contribute to making distribution a strategic link in the book’s value chain. Digital books also need to be distributed and require specific expertise and infrastructure.