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Barnes & Noble Inc. Layoffs

14 February 2018

Following up on yesterday’s post and comments about company-wide layoffs tied to the job titles of some senior store employees at Barnes & Noble, the following is from the Barnes & Noble section of a website called The Layoff, which has received quite a few comments from Barnes & Noble store employees.

RM is Receiving Manager. The latest Barnes & Noble layoffs were, at least in part, based on job titles. It appears that all store RM’s were fired. The RM was the person responsible for opening all the cases of books each day, sorting them, getting them on the shelves and helping with return shipments of unsold books back to publishers. According to Glass Door, Barnes & Noble receiving managers make an average of $15 per hour.

Here are a few Barnes & Noble employee comments from the last 24 hours:

Our store made 8.3 million last year, on par to do it this year as well, and we still lost our RM. we had been told that stores above a certain threshold would have RMs stay, but not be replaced if they were to leave, but today we were told he had to be let go too.

. . . .

Why get rid of the best?

We have lost probably three of the best workers at our store. I know it will not be long to start feeling their absence, simply because they were the driving force behind so many things here.

What was B&N’s thinking on this? Why not target unproductive employees instead of positions?

Talk about digging your own grave.

. . . .

My thoughts…and good luck

I was one of the long tenured RM’s let go. Even taking in consideration the health of the company it was still a shock. I was more worried about the store eventually closing than being fired. A lot of talented, dedicated employees lost their jobs without notice, explanation, or offers to stay on in another capacity. The company decided to eliminate positions across the board instead of looking at each individual store, which is sad since different stores have different issues. I know that there a many former employees like me who worked had and were doing other jobs in addition of their own to help the store and make up for a lack of hours, and none of this was factored into the decision. We were let go even though in many cases we had many more years under our belt than those who remained, just because we held one of the positions deemed not vital. This after many assurances that “We are in good shape” over the past few years after every new bit of bad news.

Try not to blame the SM’s and other management left behind, they didn’t want to fire anyone. There job is now harder. Yes, we would all like to be working in that environment instead of being unemployed, but they are not living the high life either. Maybe your manager could have handled it better, but I believe most were very unhappy about having to do this. This situation was handled poorly, but that is all on corporate. I don’t think we’ll be getting a phone call from the powers that be saying how sorry they are all anytime soon. Good look to all in finding a new position. I know I’ll be looking for the first time in awhile in an area that doesn’t have much to offer. Hopefully our anger and frustration will subside soon.

. . . .

15+ years of loyal, dedicated service … POOF!

Just bought a new(er) car so my husband could safely travel back and forth to work, the day after, he showed up for work, was told “Sorry!” and ESCORTED out of the building, all so part-timers can sell cheap gee-gaws and doo-dads. FIFTEEN+ years of loyal, dedicated service and this is how Barnes and Noble treats its long-term hard-working employees? I’m on Social Security and what little he brought in kept us afloat. I’m going to enjoy watching them tank, if we don’t starve to death first, that is…

. . . .

Heartless Company

Shame on BN for letting go of an employee while they were on medical leave for heart surgery! A company that is truly HEARTLESS!!!! Over 30 yrs of service doesn’t mean a thing!

. . . .

Core Values?

Working 10+ years for the company I’ve seen how loyal the employees are. How do the upper management think this is going to help morale, let alone keep up the great customer service when every employee feels a target on their back. Talk about a hostile work environment.

Link to the rest at The Layoff


8 Comments to “Barnes & Noble Inc. Layoffs”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about this. As an author, I especially value experienced and dedicated bookstore workers who steer customers to books they would enjoy.

    I hope everyone finds an enjoyable, convenient job that pays at least as well!

    • I expect AmazonBooks and Indigo’s US operation won’t lack for good candidates as they expand.

  2. In my store alone, five people were let go including me. That’s five people with combined 84 years of experience. Gone, in a snap!

    The link is worth visiting, as they are the words of real people, not press releases.

  3. Gee, The Seattle Times yells about Amazon dropping a mere 200 employees, while Publishers Weekly brags about how much B&N is going to save killing off jobs …

    (off to pop me some corn …)

  4. I used to have a part time job as a bookseller at Borders. It was the worst paying job I ever had (in real, pay-per-hour terms, worse than babysitting when I was in high school), yet I loved it. The readers, the families, the books, the fellow staff who loved books or music as much as I did. And then came the layoffs. Just as now with B&N, they were “streamlining” for success, building a “tighter more efficient” team. Just as with B&N, they laid off some of the longest term, hardest working staff with the most experience–and they weren’t earning much more than babysitter wages even at their higher levels. Three years later, the company collapsed into bankruptcy–in a matter of days as it seemed then–never to rise again.

  5. Of course, none of these firings will reach the C-Suite level, where idiocy, ignorance, and incompetence are rife.

    And just how will all these B&N stores without RMs will handle inventory and restocking, and having stuff to sell that people will want to buy?

    This is kinda like bailing out the Titanic with a small glass; won’t help B&N’s survival much at all.

    • I have no idea what could help B&N survival. If the executives are doing the wrong things, then what are the right things? What should B&N objectives be, and what specific steps should they take to reach them?

      People tell us what they shouldn’t do, they tell us what the did wrong in the past, they tell us a desired future state they should achieve, but nobody tells us how.

      There have been two huge changes in the external economic environment. First, eBooks took a large market share, and nobody needs a physical store to get an eBook.

      Second, online retailers took another large market share for paper books.

      Millions of consumers who once needed a B&M store to get books no longer need a B&M store. They go online for both eBooks and paper.

      The external environment is very unfriendly for B&M bookstores.

      • The right thing?
        How about copying Waterstones?

        Or Indigo, which is sneaking into the US with small stores, just like Amazon.

        B&M bookselling works when the store has a local focus and adjusts its inventory to what is most likely to appeal to the store’s customers, not some central purchasing agent in a big city somewhere.

        By now what is wrong and what is right is pretty clear to anybody with open eyes and mind. If avid readers have moved to online and ebooks, how about refocusing the stores on non-avid readers? The casual, social readers. Yes, individually they buy a lot less books than avid readers but they are legion. A lot more of them than of us.

        And firing your most experienced staff, the very people with first hand knowledge of what their customers look for, is simply suicidal.

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