1 st August 2008 – Elector Limited
Early Equity invests in 15% Eclector Ltd - An innovative approach to online book selling
Early Equity Plc, has taken a 15.0% per cent stake in Birmingham based company Eclector Limited, a business set up to exploit a niche opportunity in the development of online bookselling.
Eclector's business model enables clubs, societies, social networkers, hospitals, charities, educational establishments and the like to open an their own online bookstore completely free of charge, and to retain half the gross margin on any sales they make. The Company calls this "shared profit retailing". The bookshop will to all intents and purposes appear to be 'owned' by the operator.
The technology platform, was developed for, and is fully owned by the company. It is integrated with the online systems of Gardner's, the UK's largest book wholesaler, thereby making it possible for purchasers to buy almost any book currently available in the UK.
The principle of the relationship between the customer and the retailer is based on the affinity customers have with their selected store operator. They know they are supporting the operator (for example a charity or their local club or society) by buying the books they want. The primary focus is on the customer purchasing books which are likely to be related to their interest group rather than the "best sellers". These books are generally less discounted by the traditional booksellers, and it is the "affinity" with the operator which enables customers to rationalize and overcome any price differential, if one exists, because they know they are making a contribution to their local charity or interest group.<.p>
Fulfillment is handled by the wholesaler, from order to delivery, on behalf of Eclector, and books will be dispatched with a delivery note showing the society, club or charity's own logo.
The model can be adapted easily to sell other products such as film and music, both on disk and as downloads. It is the intention to offer additional products in the near future, along with other less mainstream products.
Eclector does not need to recruit its own customers, rather it recruits storeowners by marketing to the umbrella organizations to which the voluntary clubs, societies, charities and professional bodies belong through direct and search engine marketing.
Eclector was founded in February 2008 by Managing Director and major shareholder William Pryor, who developed the concept. Mr Pryor is a published author with over thirty years of experience in the book trade, from writing through to retail. He co-founded the Airlift Book Company, now a multi million pound turnover company in the distribution of US books in Europe. He also has extensive experience of the internet and online marketing. He will be joined on the board by Rob Painting, Chief Executive of Early Equity.
Rob Painting, CEO of Early Equity said,
"We are delighted to have provided this very early stage investment to Eclector to enable the concept to be brought to the market and developed. We believe that this is an exciting and innovative approach to online retailing, and joining with Eclector at this stage illustrates perfectly the value of our strategy of seeking out and providing early stage investment in companies with high growth potential."