(Mirror Daily, United States) – After coming back to work on Monday, multiple Barnes & Noble Workers including cashiers and other experienced employees found that they had lost their jobs.
The move came as a big surprise, but its is part of a restructuring plan after a disappointing holiday season.
The U.S. book retailer has more than 770 locations nationwide and last year it had 26,000 workers. The company refused to say how many people it has laid off. A spokesperson told CNBC that the company had to review all “aspects of the business” including the size of its workforce.
The spokesperson also said that the decision was spurred by a decline in book sales this holiday season. So, staffing needed to be trimmed to meet the company’s business model and needs. The company promised to start hiring again if the “business improves.”
Disappointing Book Sales Led to Layoffs
Last holiday season, the company’s book sales dropped 6 percent from a year prior. Barnes & Noble sold $953 million in books during holiday, while same-store sales slipped 6.4%, as well. The online business didn’t fare better either, with sales sliding 4.5%.
The layoffs come at the same time of the appointment of a new CMO (chief merchandising officer). Also, the company is facing rabid competition from giant retailers like Amazon and Walmart. Walmart said it plans to enter the e-book business by the end of the year, while Amazon promised to create a network of brick-and-mortar bookstores.
The company’s fate is unclear, with many speculating that its days may be numbered. One of its top shareholders, Sandell Asset Management, reportedly tried to convince the board that a sale would be necessary.
Barnes & Noble is now the number one book retailer in the U.S., with the largest number of physical stores.
Image Source: Flickr
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