Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

On Monday Barnes & Noble started layoffs of "lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers in a company-wide clearing," CNBC reported that it had learned from multiple sources. "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."

In the last conference call with investors, Barnes & Noble ceo Demos Parneros
claimed the company was refocusing on selling books and valuing the role of staff in their stores: "Customers come not only to browse and discover but to interact with our booksellers," BN staff was told at an internal conference.

A spokeswoman told CNBC the company "has been reviewing all aspects of the business, including our labor model. Given our sales decline this holiday, we're adjusting staffing so that it meets the needs of our existing business and our customers. As the business improves, we'll adjust accordingly."

Following that disclosure, the company
filed a more formal statement with the SEC on Tuesday morning. Job cuts due to poor sales have turned into "a new labor model for its stores that has resulted in the elimination of certain store positions." The filing says: "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. The company wants to assure its customers that this will not affect its commitment to customer service." They layoffs are expected to be completed by February 16.

BN will take a charge of about $11 million for severance costs, but estimates the firings "will result in annual cost savings of approximately $40 million."

After declining following their poor holiday sales report in January, Barnes & Noble has been trading at or near all-time lows in February, closing Monday at $4.70 a share -- for a market capitalization of about $340 million.

Allison Cohen will join Running Press Kids as editor starting February 20. Previously, she was literary agent at The Gersh Agency.

At Random House Children's, Andrea Posner-Sanchez has been promoted to senior executive editor and
Meika Hashimoto has been promoted to editor.

Quarto has eliminated five positions from the foreign rights team in their Brighton, England office, part of a "strategic evolution" in line with their focus "on territories and languages rather than imprint portfolios." Four people left the company, and one toke another position in their London office, the Bookseller

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