After 32 years, Partners Book Distributing will stop shipping orders on Friday, April 1. A single company, founded by Vicky Eaves and Sam Speigel, which operated as two separate regional wholesalers—Partners/East in Holt, Mich., and Partners/West in Renton, Wash., Partners served as a key wholesaler in the West and Midwest. Partners also offered distribution to small presses.
In a statement announcing the closure, Partners wrote simply, "As much as we love what we do, the numbers are no longer working."
The closing of Partners/West in particular will be deeply felt by independent booksellers throughout the West. Over the past decade and a half, the West Coast lost two key regional wholesalers: Pacific Pipeline closed in 1997 and Bookpeople in 2004.
“It’s a very sad day when a great company like Partners, who has served the independent book market for so many years is closing,” Richard Kallman, COO of Bookazine, one of the few remaining regional wholesalers, told PW.