In February this year, the Paperback Shop in Fairford celebrated 20 years in business. Little did they realise that just a month later, the world would be turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic. But despite the global problems, the UK’s first fully virtual wholesaler supplying books around the world, continued to grow through online business with customers and shops in 18 different countries and, at the end of August, celebrated its first anniversary as an EOT (Employee Owned Trust).
A year ago, the EOT was created in order to purchase the shares from the founder of the Paperback Shop, Dan Cherrington by way of a loan from the founder himself. The team at the Paperback Shop now plan to repay the loan, from profits, over the next four-five years, but will do so more quickly if possible, thus allowing the full benefits of ownership to flow through to the whole team. Phil Woolley, Financial Director confirmed that there was no limit on the amount which could be repaid each year, so every effort would be made to repay the loan as early as possible.
The whole management team has been extremely busy during lockdown planning a strategy for the next three years, identifying training for staff and investing time and energy into the company. Managing Director, Angela Gillett said: “We have got through this pandemic so far in great style as we have worked together and survived and flourished. We want to mark our first year as an EOT by revealing our way forward for our company.”
She explained that changes for the future in order to achieve the ‘heady heights’ envisaged for the next three years are: marketing new products; launching a new website ready for Christmas and increasing the number of staff to meet the extra work load. A new Staff Consultation Group (SCG) is also being set up with ten members of staff elected on to the board to represent the voices of the employees. The company wants to offer staff more training to improve work skills and learn new ones and also reward excellence within the company. This began with a fish ‘n’ chip lunch supplied by The Cotswold Chippy and a goody bag of little presents for each member of staff.
Find out more about the Paperback Shop: https://paperbackshop.co.uk.