Record volumes for VVA in Gütersloh
VVA set a shipping record at its Gütersloh site last year. For the first time, over 93 million books were shipped from the “An der Autobahn” distribution center, breaking the previous record – set in 2008 – by nearly a million. All this despite booming e-book sales, which have more than doubled over the previous year. Record volumes were shipped in December in particular: With more than 475,000 books shipped per working day, VVA in Gütersloh was once again operating well above the already high levels of the previous year.
SHORT INTERVIEW with VVA Managing Director Stephan Schierke
2012 was a very good year for VVA compared to the rest of the industry. What were the reasons for this positive development?
Our clients are among Germany’s most successful publishers and are doing significantly better than the industry average. We were prominently represented in the bestseller lists and had the good fortune to be tasked with delivering the Shades of Grey trilogy by E L James, published by Goldmann, which blew away all records last year. We’ve also benefited from a good holiday sales season.
What goal have you set for your company for 2013?
2013 is sure to be yet another year of many challenges for our industry. I’m referring to the ongoing digitization of the book industry as well as the fact that the entire book market has been stagnating for quite some time even without the additional challenge of e-books. I’d be very happy if we managed to match the good results of 2012 this year. But above all we want to get other publishers excited about becoming our customers.
Will you need another mega-bestseller like Shades of Grey this year to achieve this?
There have repeatedly been exceedingly successful books in recent years. Just think of the Eragon books by Christopher Paolini and Dan Brown’s bestsellers. But bestsellers aren’t the only thing that drives our business. This holiday shopping season, we saw a very broad-spread peak. Of course, it’s helpful for VVA’s business performance to ship blockbusters like Shades of Grey. However, our success primarily depends on our being able to win additional publishers as partners by offering our customers bespoke, high-quality services.