Hachette Book Group is launching a new program to assist in the reopening of independent bookstores. The program is intended to help stores recover from the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses, as well as to aid bookstores in reopening.

The program, HBG said, will include dating into 2021 for new orders, improved discount terms on current and future orders through 2020, an extended timeline for stores to pay older invoices, and a freight offset credit for returning inventory that did not sell due to the pandemic. The terms, the publisher said, will impact both books published by HBG and those by publishers for which it distributes, including Abrams Books, Chronicle Books, Disney Book Group, Hachette UK, Kids Can Press, Lonely Planet, Moleskine, Octopus, Phaidon Press, Phoenix International, Quarto, and Yen Press. The program will go into effect on June 1.

"We know independent stores are grappling with a steep fall-off in business which has dramatically impacted their ability to pay staff and their bills. While they have worked to continue to serve their customers through curbside delivery, home delivery and online orders, their margins, their cash flow and their sales are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels," Alison Lazarus, executive v-p and director of sales at HBG, said in a statement. "These terms are responding to business concerns that we have heard in discussions with the ABA and our independent customers. The survival of independent stores is critical to our business, and to the communities that depend on these stores; these enhanced terms are one of the ways in which we, and the publishers we distribute, are working to ensure that independent stores survive and thrive.”