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Australian eCommerce book retailer Booktopia has unveiled a $12 million expansion of its Sydney distribution centre. 

Booktopia's new DC has doubled its footprint to 14,000sqm, allowing it to ship 600,000 books across 145,000 different titles per day. 

The new DC is equipped with advanced automation technology, with algorithms analysing customer trends to optimise its stock mix, ensuring it has the most popular titles on hand to ship. 

Booktopia CEO Tony Nash said the upgraded DC has been completed just in time for the Christmas rush. 

"We are expecting our biggest Christmas ever and with the ability to process 60,000 book sales a day, we will be able to satisfy more buyers, faster. 

"The upgrade is the culmination of many years of planning and millions of dollars of investment in hardware, software and stock.

"We already had the largest and most advanced book distribution facility in the country, now it is bigger and faster," he said. 

Last year, the business shipped 6.5 million books to local and international buyers, while in the last 12 months to the end of June, Australians spent $2.54 billion on books. 

Of this market, 36% was spent online accounting for approximately $920 million. This is expected to top $1 billion in FY21. 

In the last financial year, Booktopia reported a 28% increase in new book sales during the 2020 financial year, with total sales topping $165 million for the first time.

Demand for books has seen the company grow its customer database to 4.5 million, with over 1.4 million active customers.

Nash added that like many product categories, the pandemic has increased the online purchasing of books. 

"The growth of online purchasing of physical books has been increasing steadily, year on year, for many years.

"The events of the last six months have now brought forward much of that future growth and we are seeing many of the converts increasingly convinced that online purchases are their new preference.

"We have an extremely sophisticated eCommerce capability with an industry-leading conversion rate and a unique and growing database attached to a massive repository of consumer behaviour insights.

"It is this data and insights that have allowed us to see off various competitors and deliver a compound annual sales growth approaching more than 35% since 2008," he said. 

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