33 Booktopia


$99.7 million




Tony Nash, 54, Steve Traurig, 51, Simon Nash, 52

Head office

Lidcombe, NSW

Year founded





Retail and consumer products




Community Hero Award

Booksellers have seen some rough times, and with Amazon coming to Australia’s shores they’re no doubt ready for a tumultuous period.

Booktopia has bucked that trend with sustainable and impressive growth, but the company hit a snag in 2016 when a planned initial public offering didn’t go ahead.

The business pumped $3.9 million into its project to launch on the Australian Securities Exchange. Working with suppliers to extend terms and manage cashflow became tough, and sales did decline. Ultimately, the initial public offering was shelved, due to what founder Tony Nash says is a cooling public sentiment towards retail IPOs.

The ultimate takeaway for that time?

“If you are planning a financial event like an IPO put the money aside first so you do not put undue pressure on your business,” he says.

It’s hardly slowed the company down, though. Stock increased from 130,000 to 150,000 titles, growth is still positive for the business and the company plans on pumping another $8 million into automation. Not bad for a business that started as a side operation.

Booktopia has been a regular feature on the Smart50 list, and this year it finishes one place ahead of its 2016 effort with a three-year revenue growth figure of 93.8% landing the business in 34th place.

The company has managed to grow revenue through the past few years of tough bookselling conditions, securing $99.7 million in revenue in the last financial year.

As for Amazon, Nash isn’t worried: he says the giant already controls a significant amount of the book market in Australia, so there isn’t much room for growth when they eventually set up shop.

For now, he and the rest of the team are simply focused on maintaining Booktopia’s success.

Why is he so confident? His team. He says they’re a solid group of employees who are dedicated to the business.

So how has he garnered such loyalty?

“Pay above market rates…create a great and flexible working environment. Have specific KPIs so they are easily measured and focused at the task on hand,” he says.