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Grant Thornton helps Booktopia reach the top shelf


Online book retailer installs autonomous robot distribution centre with help from mid-tier consulting team.

By Philip King 12 minute read

Grant Thornton’s consulting team has been instrumental in creating a robot-equipped distribution centre for online bookstore Booktopia in time for the holiday rush.

The mid-tier firm said it helped design the custom-built centre with autonomous robots to improve product flow and pack books faster, with the retailer offering over 6 million books from an extensive library.

It said Booktopia had enjoyed “unprecedented growth” recently and the previous sites were running flat out.


The new customer fulfilment centre in South Strathfield, Sydney, replaces two previous locations with more than 1.6km of conveyor belts to move books around.

The robots, from Locus Robotics, now worked alongside Booktopia’s team to improve product flow and pack books faster and more accurately. Grant Thornton said it also helped Booktopia to procure, manage, and source a replacement warehouse management system, infrastructure, packaging automation and conveyors.

“The CFC now has a one-way flow of books from receiving to dispatch, improving productivity and reducing manual handling. The flexible design allows ample space for future growth,” it said.

Grant Thornton management consulting partner Richard Bycroft said the project was a “challenging but rewarding experience” that highlighted the firm’s capability in supply chain transformation, technology and change management.

“As project managers we believe it’s crucial to roll up our sleeves and we have worked closely with the Booktopia team on the ground to make sure their new distribution centres functionality was properly tested, worked as scoped, had effective material flows designed around it, Standard Operating Procedures written, and team members were thoroughly trained,” he said.

“We are happy to see the early positive signs of the impact of our work on Booktopia’s day-to-day business operations and the benefits that are helping to improve the customer experience.”

Booktopia CEO David Nenke said Grant Thornton had been a “great partner” in the overhaul.

“The goal of this project was to bring Booktopia into a new era using the latest in automation and robotics to provide a better experience for our customers and our people,” he said.

“We are grateful for the support and guidance of Grant Thornton throughout this journey. Their retail management consulting team completely understood the importance of aligning the solution and design of our new CFC with our business strategy and customer needs.”

Booktopia is currently gearing up for a bumper festive season.



Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

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