Publishing News reports that last week, Waterstone’s announced details of its much-discussed plans for a consolidation center and, with it, its supply chain partner. Unipart Logistics has won a 10- year contract with the retailer covering warehousing and distribution for all Waterstone’s stores and fulfillment for Waterstones.com. Unipart was also responsible for presenting the bookseller with a range of options from which it has chosen a 150,000 sq ft warehouse space in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, which will be fully operational from May 1, 2008. Rob Entwistle, previously General Manager of Central Distribution for the Dixons Store Group, has been appointed to manage the contract with Unipart.

Said Simon Blacklock, Waterstone’s Supply Chain Director: “This is a very important step in the development of Waterstone’s supply chain. It will enable stores, and over 2,500 suppliers, to communicate more efficiently and cost-effectively, as well as being more environmentally sound, as it will deliver a drastic reduction in the use of cardboard and packing material. Unipart has a strong track record of innovation in the supply chain and has demonstrated a very real focus on meeting our key requirements of availability, cost-effectiveness, delivery and service quality. We look forward to the relationship producing many benefits for Waterstone’s and its suppliers.”