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Barnes & Noble Is Laying Off Workers Amid Declining Sales

February 13, 2018, 7:26 AM UTC

In a round of company-wide layoffs, Barnes & Noble (BKS) has cut lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers. Workers discovered the news when they showed up to work on Monday only to learn they no longer had jobs, CNBC reports.

The nationwide book retailer has 632 stores nationally and as of April 29, 2017, employed about 26,000 people. The number of workers affect has not yet been determined.

“[Barnes & Noble] has been reviewing all aspects of the business, including our labor model,” a spokeswoman told CNBC.

“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.”

During the 2017 holiday season, sales dropped more than 6 percent to $953 million from last year’s. Same-store sales fell 6.4 percent, and online sales slid 4.5 percent.

The cuts coincide with the appointment of Timothy Mantel as the new chief merchandising officer.

They also come as Barnes & Noble faces greater competition from corporate giants like (WMT) Walmart and (AMZN) Amazon, who’ve secured a larger share of the books market. Walmart plans to expand into to e-books later this year, and Amazon is opening up its own bookstores.

The future of Barnes & Noble has come under greater speculation over the past few months, with top investor Sandell Asset Management urging a sale.