I promised this the other day and got sidetracked. This is my first chance to get back to it.
By now, everyone’s read or heard about the latest round of layoffs Barnes & Noble is instituting. Following the “how to slit your own business throat in one easy lesson” plan, it is laying off head cashiers, digital leads and others in their stores who are 1) full-time employees and 2) have the experience and knowledge that helps a store run smoothly. The company says it will save them tens of millions of dollars a year. Which it might, on a protected profit and loss sheet. What those projections don’t show are the number of customers and individual transactions that will be lost because customers can’t get help when needed, can’t get their questions answered and can’t find the books they want because they haven’t been unloaded from their boxes yet.
We’ve heard from BN about the layoffs. Let’s see what some of their employees have to say about it all:
And isn’t this part of everyone’s concern? The remaining employees have just seen a huge round of layoffs and wonder if they’re going to be next. Moreover, they don’t have the experience to do the jobs of those let go. Is it any wonder they are feeling worried and depressed about their work situation?
How? Just how do you let go that sort of experience in a store when you know the entire franchise is struggling? How do you do it across the franchise?
I am staggered at the number of people let go in just this one position. I would dearly love to see the list of ages. Could there be a possible age discrimination suit in the making against BN?
If true, that not only adds insult to injury, but it will help cement in everyone’s minds just how little BN cares about its employees or their families.
All I can say is everyone with any connection to BN, whether as an employee, retiree or an author using its self-publishing platform, needs to keep a close eye on what happens next. If it keeps acting like this, the company won’t be long for the world.