Bookstore chain, Barnes & Noble, has announced it will be laying off a portion of its staff due to a lackluster holiday season. The new model would help the company save around $40 million annually.
“Given our sales decline this holiday, we’re adjusting staffing so that it meets the needs of our existing business and our customers,” the bookseller said in a statement on Monday.
Barnes & Noble did not specify how many of its employees will be laid off as a result of the restructuring nor which positions will be cut. Several sources familiar with the situation claim that the people affected will be lead cashiers. They also said that many employees learned they’d been laid off on Monday when the company announced their restructuring.
On Tuesday, the bookseller said that severance payments will be delivered in full by 2019 fiscal year.
Barnes & Noble holiday sales fell more than 6 percent to $953 million in 2017, when compared to 2016. Same-store sales also experienced a drop of 6.4 during the holiday season while online sales fell 4.5 percent.
The book chain has been faced with a number of powerful competitors such as Amazon and Walmart, which have been slowly pushing a stake into the e-books and audiobooks industry.
In addition to emerging rivals in the book market, the company is also under pressure from one of its investors.
Last year in July, hedge fund sponsor, Sandell Asset Management Corp called for Barnes & Noble to sell its assets, claiming that the company could acquire about 12$ per share.
The bookseller refused to sell and so Sandell proposed to buy them in a private deal that valued the company at approximately $650 million, or about $9 per share.
Barnes & Noble shares were up 1 percent on Tuesday, trading around $4,80 a share.
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