In episode 224 of Total Retail Talks, Executive Editor Joe Keenan interviews Mike Ward, president and CEO of ThriftBooks, the world's largest seller of used books. Ward discusses the growth of secondhand stores and used products, and how ThriftBooks has capitalized on this market. He shares why ThriftBooks sells product on third-party sites such as Amazon.com as well as direct-to-consumer on its own website, which is where most of the company's sales occur. Ward discusses why he believes the current growth of the secondhand marketplace is fueled by technology, and how ThriftBooks differentiates itself from other competitors in the space. He shares how the business has evolved to meet changing consumer trends, such as the emergence of e-readers and audio books, and why he believes ThriftBooks has developed such a loyal customer base. Ward discusses ThriftBooks’ history of selling on Amazon, and how the company determines what products to sell on the e-commerce marketplace to turn profit. Finally, he shares how ThriftBooks' sustainable business model attracts customers looking to make responsible purchases, and why he feels the secondhand product trend will continue to grow in the future.
Mike Ward has been with ThriftBooks for over 12 years. He served as CIO for nearly seven years prior to becoming president and joining the board of directors in 2013, and was appointed CEO in 2015. As president and CEO, he is charged with providing strong strategic vision and leadership with a focus on profitable growth and responsibility over the entire business. Ward successfully grew the company from annual revenue of $60 million to over $150 million (and over 900 employees), transforming the organization, particularly the executive suite, to keep pace with growth.