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Pegasus Ventures into School and Library Market
Leah Eichler -- 2/14/00

Canada's largest book wholesaler, Pegasus, will launch a new division to penetrate the library and education market, becoming Canada's first full-service library wholesaler. Pegasus Library and Education Services (PLES), which launched last week, will serve Canadian public schools and libraries exclusively--a market the company claims has suffered from inefficiencies in the past.

"The difference between the American and the Canadian market is that, while in the U.S. market there have been for many years, large, very efficient library and school wholesalers, such as Baker & Taylor and Follett, the Canadian market has not had that," Peter Strachan, v-p and general manager of PLES, told PW.

"We have wholesalers here, but they tend to be a lot of very small ones. So what the Canadian market was missing was the benefits of a large, well-equipped, well-financed national wholesaler, and that is what PLES brings to the library school market for the first time," he said.

"Their [the libraries and schools] response to us was wonderful.... We expect to get a tremendous reception from the library and school customers themselves. As far as the publishers are concerned, I think they will be delighted. This is one area of the market place that few of them will disagree, is an area which they could really use the benefits that a business like Pegasus can provide," Strachan said.

Pegasus Wholesale Inc., formerly known as Chapters Distribution, will offer 500,000 in-stock titles from its distribution center in Brampton, Ontario. Librarians will be able to choose from a shortlist of titles, saving them time they previously spent scanning numerous publisher's catalogues. PLES maintains it is committed to stocking all Canadian titles in print, in order to enable librarians to place orders for difficult-to-find books from smaller and regional publishers.

PLES promises to offer an increase in purchasing power to its customers by selling to libraries at discounts, by streaming the purchasing process through one supplier and fulfilling the cataloguing and processing requirements of libraries. The new division also promises to negotiate lower prices from publishers and suppliers outside Canada by using its own large-volume purchasing power.

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