Well, this comes as little surprise:
On Monday morning, every single Barnes & Noble location – that’s 781 stores – told their full-time employees to pack up and leave. The eliminated positions were as follows: the head cashiers (those are the people responsible for handling the money), the receiving managers (the people responsible for bringing in product and making sure it goes where it should), the digital leads (the people responsible for solving Nook problems), the newsstand leads (the people responsible for distributing the magazines), and the bargain leads (the people responsible for keeping up the massive discount sections). A few of the larger stores were able to spare their head cashiers and their receiving managers, but not many.
Just about everyone lost between 3 and 7 employees. The unofficial numbers put the total around 1,800 people.
Go here to read the rest. This is the type of decision that a chain makes just before it goes under. A mass firing of experienced full time people, and attempting to replace them with cheap part timers, is never a long term solution, but rather an attempt to prop up the corporate bottom line just before a corporation heads to the La Brea tarpits. I knew that the chain was not long for this world last year when it stopped having new books in separate sections in each subject category. This, of course, ticked off customers who would have to search for the new books among the old books. For Barnes and Noble this served two purposes: force the customers to take another look at the old books in hopes they will buy them, and disguise the fact that the number of new books they were getting in was dwindling. This is the type of cutting off your nose to spite your face move that a business makes only in extremis.
The idiots at the top of Barnes and Noble have been making bad decisions for a very long time, including losing out to Amazon Kindle, disastrous marketing of their Nook e-reader, filling their stores with cheap junk to cater to non-book readers, selling overpriced food and drink, and the list could go on and on. I confess to some sadness over this. Memories of going to the big box bookstores, remember Borders, with my bride and kids are quite pleasant, but sentiment and business are two separate things. This is an opportunity for small chains like Half-Price Books, and no market niche remains unfilled for long in a capitalist system. Amazon is going in for the kill with brick and mortar stores and we will see how many Barnes and Noble store locations they acquire after the inevitable bankruptcy.