As part of Tuttle Publishing’s decision to move its fulfillment to one of the big six, Simon & Schuster, the North Clarendon, Vt.-based publisher is closing its 20-year-old warehouse. It will retain a half-dozen domestic and international distribution clients, and continue to look for more. Its remaining fulfillment client, fellow Vermont publisher Inner Traditions, is also moving to Simon & Schuster at the start of 2013. As a result of the warehouse closing, 16 Tuttle employees, mostly warehouse staff, have been given three months notice, and will receive a severance package.
According to sales and marketing director Christopher Johns, "it's still sad to see our colleagues go, who have been here a long time. But we can't keep up with state-of-the art technology. We need to be as 21st-century as possible." The arrangement with Simon & Schuster will enable them to get their orders out faster and set the company up for the future.
Like many decisions driving publishing right now, Johns acknowledges that the decision to move to Simon & Schuster is about the shrinking market. "We're seeing great sales, although it's not what it was. We're in a very good place right now. We know how to 'stick to our knitting' in areas like origami and craft. Cookbooks are doing well and we're getting back into travel." He sees the transition to a state-of-the-art warehouse as a good thing, particularly since the company is doing it at a time of strength. The transition will not affect Tuttle's list of 150 books a year.