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Booktopia ranks among Australia’s fastest-growing companies

Booktopia has once again been named one of the 100 fastest-growing companies in Australia.

The online bookstore was included in the AFR Fast 100 (formerly the BRW Fast 100) for a record eighth time since 2009.

Other e-commerce businesses, including, Evolve Skateboards, Interior Secrets, AMR Hair and Beauty Suppliers and Tentworld also made this year’s list.

The Fast 100 annually ranks Australian companies that started trading before July 1, 2013, by average revenue growth over four years.

With 37.1 per cent average revenue growth, Booktopia ranked 75th on the list, up from its 86th-place finish in 2016. In comparison, MyDeal ranked 6th, with 124 per cent average revenue growth.

But the online bookstore topped the list in terms of annual revenue for among retailers, reporting $99.7 million for FY17. MyDeal booked less than a third of this, with $29.55 million.

Booktopia CEO Tony Nash was impressed by the company’s track record.

“It is a great achievement to make the list once or even twice but to have consistently grown over so many years is testimony to the hardworking staff that now number over 150 people and the on-going loyalty of our customers,” he said.

Booktopia cracked the $100 million revenue mark for a trailing 12-month period in July this year. Its revenue in 2007 was $2.2 million, which means it has seen 46 per cent revenue growth year-on-year for the past decade.

“The secret to our success is pretty simple, we just focus on what our customers want,” Nash said.

Reflecting on the company’s growth over the years, Nash said:

  • 9 years ago, there were 135 titles in stock. Today, there are 135,000 titles in stock.
  • 9 years ago, the business was located in a 500sqm office. Today, it operates from a 13,000sqm headquarters and distribution centre.
  • 4 years ago, staff pushed orders around in hand trolleys and had one automatic packing machine. Today, there is $9 million worth of automation, including 5 automatic packing machines.
  • It took 3 days to sell the first book. Today, items are sold every 7.6 seconds.
  • The distribution centre will ship around 25,000 individual items per day this Christmas.
  • Over 3.8 million Australians have bought from Booktopia.

Over the year’s, Booktopia’s philanthropic program has also donated $750,000 worth of books and cash to literacy-based projects, indigenous literacy, writers’ festivals, readers’ conferences and school library fundraising projects.

All of this has been accomplished with no external investment. The company’s initial operating budget in 2004 was $10 per day.

“Everyone is constantly asking me about what are you going to do about Amazon? And I say, when you are everything to everyone. You simply cannot be one thing to one vertical. We have been competing with Amazon for over a decade. Australian book buyers have proven to us that if you hold stock, price competitively, deliver quickly and be an expert in your field then you can be a legitimate alternative to Amazon,” Nash said.


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