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Old 02-12-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
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B&N (More bad on top of ... you know...)

I remember back in the service one time, it got to be a grim joke:

"Do you want to hear the bad news first or the bad news?"



"Barnes & Noble is trimming its staff, laying off lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers in a company-wide clearing, CNBC has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

The news came abruptly for many workers who showed up Monday morning at various Barnes & Noble locations to be notified that they no longer had a job, the people said..."

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/barn...ay-season.html

I am saddened.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:06 PM   #2
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"Barnes & Noble is trimming its staff, laying off lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers in a company-wide clearing, CNBC has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

The news came abruptly for many workers who showed up Monday morning at various Barnes & Noble locations to be notified that they no longer had a job, the people said..."

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/barn...ay-season.html

I am saddened.
I don't know what these corporations know that we don't, but layoffs are happening all over and in all industries. My brother recently was laid off from Verizon (he had worked for XO for about ten years, until Verizon bought them a couple years ago). He was laid off with about 16,000 other employees, but there was no news about it because, if a corporation gives their employees 60 days of severance pay, it's not officially a "layoff." His son, my nephew, is a compliance manager for Frito-Lay (he learned this "on the job" when the woman he replaced died and there was no one else to do it), they are laying 10% of their workforce (about 27,000 employees). He doesn't know yet if he's one of them or not, but this particular layoff (which probably won't be reported as one) supposedly is going to effect mostly those over 50 years old (which he's not). AT&T is rumored to be about ready to make a massive layoff. Verizon, besides the layoffs at Yahoo and AOL, and those in the service division (where my brother was) are about to lay off many of their store retail employees. If you want some of this grim news just go to https://www.thelayoff.com/ (though they won't report as "layoffs" non-official layoffs (like Verizon's 16,000).
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:11 PM   #3
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He doesn't know yet if he's one of them or not, but this particular layoff (which probably won't be reported as one) supposedly is going to effect mostly those over 50 years old (which he's not).
I don't know how that's legal, unless they're not in the US.

It could be they're offering early retirement to those over 50 first, which I have seen before, then determining if any layoffs are required after that.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:02 PM   #4
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I don't know how that's legal, unless they're not in the US.

It could be they're offering early retirement to those over 50 first, which I have seen before, then determining if any layoffs are required after that.
I don't think so. Employees who normally work from home have been told to be in the office on (I think) Wednesday.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:45 AM   #5
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I don't know how that's legal, unless they're not in the US.

It could be they're offering early retirement to those over 50 first, which I have seen before, then determining if any layoffs are required after that.
Oh, there are all sorts of legal ways to get rid of older, higher paid workers. If there wasn't, there wouldn't be so many people in their mid to late 50s looking for work!
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:26 PM   #6
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B&N is taking a page from the Circuit City playbook (on how to grease the skids for bankruptcy):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...032802185.html

They may not have noticed that the job market has been tightening since last year:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1AO1OP

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/b...t-inmates.html

For the record, it took CIRCUIT CITY less than 18 months from downgrading their staff to outright bankruptcy.

http://www.wral.com/business/story/3930688/

So this move by B&N may be bad for the employees but it portends a far worse fate for B&N, who claim it will save them $40M a year (less than $80,000 a year per store).

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/...nes-noble.html

Quote:

B&N described the cuts as "a new labor model for its stores that has resulted in the elimination of certain store positions. 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."
In other words, they'll be replacing veteran full time employees with newbie part-timers.

The staff is understandably ticked:

https://www.thelayoff.com/t/RHoxMfy

Last edited by fjtorres; 02-13-2018 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:26 PM   #7
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This wouldn't be so bad (to me) if we could go back to small bookstores in malls. Unfortunately, I think the days of the brick and mortar bookstore chain are nearing their end.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:22 PM   #8
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This wouldn't be so bad (to me) if we could go back to small bookstores in malls. Unfortunately, I think the days of the brick and mortar bookstore chain are nearing their end.
Amazon disagrees.

Hudson is also doing quite well with their formats. And they're not a small chain.

You're right that the days of big giant-store chains are nearing their end but it won't be the end of (smaller format) chains or big destination stores (as regional draws).

B&N's problem is their stubborn insistence on being both big and everywhere and refusing to accept that a majority of avid readers have pivoted to online and ebooks, leaving them to compete with Walmart, Costco, newstands, etc for the casual reader market. And that market finds little use for the deeper catalog filling the big B&N stores.

For all B&N's problems, they still sell a lot of books. Around 23% of 2017 sales. Maybe 150M of them. They just aren't selling as many as they used to and not generating enough revenue to support the big store format.

I think there might be room for 30 or 40 big format specialty bookstores (Powell's, for example) scattered about and a ubiquitous chain or two of small shops focused on local casual readers. In the UK Waterstones is looking in that same direction, creating a set of small shops focused on their locality, some without the Waterstones name. Essentially a chain of Independent stores.

B&N could do that. But first they have to let go of their big store fetish.

Last edited by fjtorres; 02-13-2018 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post

For all B&N's problems, they still sell a lot of books. Around 23% of 2017 sales. Maybe 150M of them. They just aren't selling as many as they used to and not generating enough revenue to support the big store format.

I think there might be room for 30 or 40 big format specialty bookstores (Powell's, for example) scattered about and a ubiquitous chain or two of small shops focused on local casual readers. In the UK Waterstones is looking in that same direction, creating a set of small shops focused on their locality, some without the Waterstones name. Essentially a chain of Independent stores.

B&N could do that. But first they have to let go of their big store fetish.
Unfortunately, the employees would have been laid off anyway. It just started early.

Another issue facing B&N (and other brick retailers) is the high cost of commercial leases. The latest B&N investor report said that most of their leases expire in 2 years. I expect many closures with subsequent layoffs. Maybe, they will then lose their big store for smaller ones.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:58 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, the employees would have been laid off anyway. It just started early.

Another issue facing B&N (and other brick retailers) is the high cost of commercial leases. The latest B&N investor report said that most of their leases expire in 2 years. I expect many closures with subsequent layoffs. Maybe, they will then lose their big store for smaller ones.
And without warning.
Just like at Circuit City, they showed up for work and were told they were fired effective today. They do get severance pay which would not be assured under bankruptcy.

The employees might yet get the last (bitter) laugh. Still no fun.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:10 PM   #11
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Turns out they cut even deeper into their productivity.
Nate is reporting they fired the receiving managers, too.

https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/...nths-counting/
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:17 AM   #12
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This wouldn't be so bad (to me) if we could go back to small bookstores in malls. Unfortunately, I think the days of the brick and mortar bookstore chain are nearing their end.
For that matter, the days of malls are rapidly declining. Just Google "malls in America" and you'll see dozens of recent articles like:

America's Malls and Department Stores Are Dying Off - Time
America's malls are rotting away - CNN Money
What could happen to America's dead malls - Business Insider
An Ode to Shopping Malls - The New York Times
Big, bold … and broken: is the US shopping mall in a fatal decline - The Guardian
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Amazon disagrees.

Hudson is also doing quite well with their formats. And they're not a small chain.

You're right that the days of big giant-store chains are nearing their end but it won't be the end of (smaller format) chains or big destination stores (as regional draws).

B&N's problem is their stubborn insistence on being both big and everywhere and refusing to accept that a majority of avid readers have pivoted to online and ebooks, leaving them to compete with Walmart, Costco, newstands, etc for the casual reader market. And that market finds little use for the deeper catalog filling the big B&N stores.

For all B&N's problems, they still sell a lot of books. Around 23% of 2017 sales. Maybe 150M of them. They just aren't selling as many as they used to and not generating enough revenue to support the big store format.

I think there might be room for 30 or 40 big format specialty bookstores (Powell's, for example) scattered about and a ubiquitous chain or two of small shops focused on local casual readers. In the UK Waterstones is looking in that same direction, creating a set of small shops focused on their locality, some without the Waterstones name. Essentially a chain of Independent stores.

B&N could do that. But first they have to let go of their big store fetish.
I suspect bookstores will follow a similar business model to that which photography shops have in the US. A few big 'destination' retailers in the big cities. (B&H is actually a tourist destination in NYC!) a lot of internet retailers, and a few regional chains with a good reputation and strong internet sales, and even fewer small town independents, who appear to survive on tradition and stubbornness of the owners.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:22 AM   #14
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Amazon disagrees.
I don't see Amazon's brick and mortar stores ever spreading out like B. Dalton books. Mostly I think they are an attention grabbing stunt. Time will tell if I am wrong.

Quote:
Hudson is also doing quite well with their formats. And they're not a small chain.
I'm not familiar with Hudson, unless you are talking about Hudson News at the airport?

Quote:
You're right that the days of big giant-store chains are nearing their end but it won't be the end of (smaller format) chains or big destination stores (as regional draws).

B&N's problem is their stubborn insistence on being both big and everywhere and refusing to accept that a majority of avid readers have pivoted to online and ebooks, leaving them to compete with Walmart, Costco, newstands, etc for the casual reader market. And that market finds little use for the deeper catalog filling the big B&N stores.

For all B&N's problems, they still sell a lot of books. Around 23% of 2017 sales. Maybe 150M of them. They just aren't selling as many as they used to and not generating enough revenue to support the big store format.

I think there might be room for 30 or 40 big format specialty bookstores (Powell's, for example) scattered about and a ubiquitous chain or two of small shops focused on local casual readers. In the UK Waterstones is looking in that same direction, creating a set of small shops focused on their locality, some without the Waterstones name. Essentially a chain of Independent stores.

B&N could do that. But first they have to let go of their big store fetish.
Yeah, I think it would be healthy for Barnes and Noble to shrink their stores.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:24 AM   #15
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For that matter, the days of malls are rapidly declining. Just Google "malls in America" and you'll see dozens of recent articles like:

America's Malls and Department Stores Are Dying Off - Time
America's malls are rotting away - CNN Money
What could happen to America's dead malls - Business Insider
An Ode to Shopping Malls - The New York Times
Big, bold … and broken: is the US shopping mall in a fatal decline - The Guardian
I've seen those YouTube videos as well, But then, where I live we have two high end malls directly across the street from each other that are going like gangbusters.
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