Waterstones is ready for your Christmas Orders with over 2 million books in Stock

by Super User
Waterstones have taken on an extra 400 staff for the Christmas Period. Whether you want to hear it or not - Christmas is coming and everyone is busy looking for those perfect gifts. At Waterstones huge Warehouse in Burton,Derbyshire, it is no exception and over 800 staff are hard at work getting out you orders and making sure the shops are fully stocked for Christmas 2017. Reporter Jenny Moody and Photographer Sally Deacon got to look behind the scenes at the venue as the Waterstone team prepares for the busiest time of the year:Christmas! There is nothing better at Christmas than getting stuck into a good book by the fireplace or on the beach on holiday, depending on where you are and the time of year. The inhouse team at Waterstones warehouse are all to aware of this and want to do all they can to make sure their customers get their hands on the perfect book for them this Christmas 2017! With the Christmas shopping period fast approaching the demand for books and other presents on offer at Waterstones, like mugs,toys,dolls and robots is even higher so it is all hands on deck to make sure every customer gets what they want on time. The Waterstone Hub, as it is called, which is a staggering 180,000 square foot in size, is managed by Unipart Logistics and employs more than 300 people all year round. It has now taken on around 270 extra temporary employees to meet the demands of Christmas. In addition, the company has recently created 27 new permanent jobs and a further 10 will be appointed in January. The jobs are not just on the warehouse floor either; in the customer services department, the firm has taken on five new members of staff to help with the increase in enquiries as people tend to have a mad panic that their orders won't arrive on time come the middle of December so they chase them up.In the warehouse, there is an increase in deliveries to shops to make sure they are fully stocked with extra deliveries on Saturdays with an increase in hours to make sure everything is out on time in December. The team is also trained to work in all departments so they can step in and help during the really busy periods or when someone is off ill. Everyone in the office is encouraged to help out where they can. Staff members are encouraged as much as possible to learn as many of the roles as they can so they can come together as a team during the busy periods and help out.Beccy Preece, head of supply chain services, said: "To say it is manic here is an understatement. Over the Christmas period, from mid-November to the end of December, we really ramp things up. We normally have about 1.2 million books in the distribution centre and that goes up to two million by mid November. "We are stocking 45,000 lines at the minute, which is an increase from 12,000. This is partly due to investment from Waterstones, which saw a lot of machinery moved and replaced with racking which are filled with books. It was a big investment and it allowed us to employ more people. "It is all hands on deck and it is such a buzz."General manager Kath Skidmore said it is important for Waterstones and Unipart to work together to get the book to the customer. She said: "People who work here are passionate about books and we have had a couple of authors on the site to meet the team." As you take a look around the warehouse, it is not just books that adorn the shelves. Waterstones also offers stationery, board games, gift sets, toys and Lego as well as Christmas cards and festive must-haves for those looking for a little more. Books have always been a timeless gift but with the introduction of the Kindle it seemed they could become a thing of the past. It may have changed the way many people read initially, but many people are returning to a trusty book. Miss Preece said: "With books we understand our customers really well. Waterstones is brilliant at knowing what is going to be big each year. "Kindles did effect us for a time but we found that they also re-energised customers to start reading again. Books had been forgotten but we found they still wanted to find a good book. There were a few negatives but there were also big positives. "We are definitely in a good place now and find people are enjoying books again." As Christmas arrives there are always some big names that come to the forefront but which books are expected to fly off the shelves this year? Waterstones has already stocked up on chef Jamie Oliver's book Five Ingredients and with fiction author Philip Pullman they can never go wrong. The Book of Dust is Pullman's first book in 17 years so people have been waiting a long time to get their hands on it and there has been a lot of excitement around its release. Waterstones bosses are sure it will be filling more than a few Christmas stockings this year.Other books expected to be big this year are Dan Brown's Origin, the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney and the Guinness World Records is always a smash hit. The warehouse sees 200,000 books go out a day and will take deliveries up until midnight - with everything from comedy and romance to non-fiction and thrillers. However, Christmas is not the end of it, as after this Waterstones prepares for the January sales, with more big names releasing books then. Diet books are always in big demand in January after the over indulgences during the festivities.Tammy Adams, customer support team leader, said: "It is a lovely place to work. Peak season is a real buzz time. Everyone is happy and wants to make everyone's Christmas perfect." Miss Preece said: "This is a really important place to us and it is a good environment. The average time of people working here is seven years so people like working here. Even if you are not a reader, there is always something that you will like here."

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