Barnes & Noble Cuts Jobs To Save $40 Million, Hires New Chief Merchandising Officer

Barnes & Noble Cuts Jobs To Save $40 Million, Hires New Chief Merchandising Officer

Barnes & Noble is laying off an unspecified number of employees to save approximately $40 million in annual costs.

In a regulatory filing, the bookseller said it would pay $11 million in severance and other costs related to the layoff. "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," the filing revealed.

The holidays were not kind to Barnes & Noble, undoubtedly contributing to the retailer’s need for extra cash. Total sales for the nine-week holiday period of November and December 2017 were $953 million, down 6.4% from the prior year. Comparable store sales also declined 6.4% for the holiday, while online sales declined 4.5%.

On the same day the job cuts were first reported, Barnes & Noble named Timothy Mantel as Chief Merchandising Officer. He will report to CEO Demos Parneros. Mantel previously served in the same position at GNC, and also served as Senior VP of Food and Household Essentials at Target

Mantel will be responsible for driving sales and profitability in all areas of merchandising within the company, including Books, Toys & Games, Gift, Newsstand and Music and Entertainment.

Barnes & Noble’s holiday struggles went across multiple categories, so Mantel has work to do: the book category declined 4.5%, performing comparatively better than the business overall. Declines in the gift, music and DVD categories accounted for nearly half of the comparable store sales decrease, indicating that the decision to move beyond books starting in 2016 hasn’t yet paid off.

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