The merger of Penguin and Random House in Canada is beginning to taking shape in two new, concrete ways. In May or June of next year, all of the staff of both companies will move into a new space at 320 Front St. in downtown Toronto. “I think we’re all excited about the fact that we won’t have to commute between offices,” says Brad Martin, CEO of Penguin Random House Canada. He notes that it is, in fact, three offices that will be combined into one, because the Random House sales team has always been in a separate building from editorial. “With everybody coming together, it’s going to be a lot easier to hang out together,” he says.

Kristin Cochrane, president and publisher of Random House of Canada, says that as plans move forward, the company has realized that physically merging three offices is much more complicated than simply moving one office into a new space. “There are these mini-mergers within the bigger merger of office cultures, company cultures, of departments that haven’t worked side by side,” she says. “And so even though an average move is a really big deal, we’re paying so much attention and spending so much time at this point to try to get it right, knowing the magnitude of it for our people.”

Martin’s second piece of news is perhaps more consequential. “We’re in the meat of the merger because we are also moving toward fulfillment out of the United States and moving onto SAP [enterprise software] for the entire company,” he says, “so training has to take place across the entire company, a refresh on the Random House side and training for the Penguin people.” Books will be moved out of the Pearson warehouse, in Newmarket, Ontario, which has distributed Penguin books in Canada, and will be distributed from the U.S. along with all Random House books. “We haven’t got firm dates, but it will be sometime next year, probably in the first half of the year,” says Martin.

Nicole Winstanley, president and publisher of Penguin Group Canada, describes the changes as an overall streamlining of processes. “I think it’s great because... we have really great relationships with the people at Pearson, but Random House is a trade publisher and therefore we’re streamlining trade systems,” she says. “One of the other things that is especially good about working so closely with Brad and Tracey {Turiff] and Kristin is [Penguin] often reported in to different territories—for a time it was the U.S., for a time it was the U.K.—and so we were constantly putting the Canadian market in context, but we all have the same understanding of the Canadian market and can react and bat ideas around because we are all coming from the same place and dealing with the same issues.”

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