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Barnes & Noble announces large cuts to store positions

US book retailer Barnes & Noble has announced large cuts to store positions as part of a ‘new labour model’ after reporting disappointing holiday sales results in early January.

‘The new model will allow stores to adjust staff up or down based on the needs of the business, increase store productivity and streamline store operations,’ said the retailer in a statement.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC) on 13 February, the company announced that the dismissals, to be completed by 16 February, were expected to save the company US$40 million (A$51.1 million) annually.

While Barnes & Noble has not confirmed the number of staff affected by cuts, the filing noted that severance payments worth approximately US$11 million (A$14 million), would be made in the current fiscal year with the remainder paid in fiscal 2019.

Anecdotal reports put the unofficial numbers at around 1800 staff, with cuts to full-time positions such as head cashiers, receiving managers and digital leads (those responsible for solving Nook problems).

At the start of the year Barnes & Noble reported that holiday sales fell 6.4% compared to the same period a year ago. As a result of the poor sales, the company also reduced its financial performance for the full fiscal year.


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