November 28, 2011, 12:11 PM

Follett opens a new distribution hub to service online book stores

The 521,000-square-foot facility can handle up to 16 million orders annually.

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The online retailing business is going well for college textbook store operator Follett Higher Education Group. So well in fact Follett, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, is opening a new distribution center for its Internet business.

The new facility will be located in Aurora, IL, a Chicago suburb, and occupy 521,000 square feet. The new fulfillment hub will handle orders for Follett’s online and wholesale textbook business.

"This is one of many investments Follett is making to provide even better service to our customers," says Tom Christopher, president of Follett Higher Education Group.

The new center will open in November 2013 and replace an older fulfillment center Follett operates in the Chicago area. “The current distribution center is processing five million more units per year than the facility's original capacity,” the company says.

When the facility opens, Follett, which posted web sales of $344 million in 2010 and now services more than 1,000 online college and high school bookstores, will be able to handle up to 16 million orders annually. The facility will use robotic fulfillment technology from Kiva Systems Inc.

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