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Barnes & Noble lays off some Boise workers amid nationwide cuts

In 2010, Barnes & Noble was named best bookstore in the Idaho Statesman’s annual Best of Treasure Valley contest. In more recent years, local bookstore Rediscovered Books has taken that title. Barnes & Noble is laying off some full-time employees nationally and in Boise.
In 2010, Barnes & Noble was named best bookstore in the Idaho Statesman’s annual Best of Treasure Valley contest. In more recent years, local bookstore Rediscovered Books has taken that title. Barnes & Noble is laying off some full-time employees nationally and in Boise.

The last big nationwide book retailer, Barnes & Noble, began laying off full-time head cashiers, digital sales and receiving managers across the country on Monday, including several workers at the Boise store, the only one in the Treasure Valley.

So far, the impact in Boise is a small number of people, but it could mean that the store at 1315 N. Milwaukee St. is in jeopardy. The exact number was not immediately known. A store manager declined to comment, referring inquiries to a national public relations manager, who did not immediately return calls.

A dismal holiday season sparked the layoffs, a spokeswoman for the company told CNBC. “[Barnes & Noble] has been reviewing all aspects of the business, including our labor model,” she said. “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.”

Sales slid 6.4 percent during the crucial nine-week period ending Dec. 3 and online sales dropped 4.5 percent.

Hundreds of now-former B&N employes took to posting their stories on TheLayoff.com and Twitter.

The layoffs correspond with Timothy Mantel being named Barnes & Noble’s chief merchandising officer, effective immediately, on Monday. Mantel previously held roles at GNC and Target. Mary Amicucci left the chief merchandising role at Barnes & Noble last September.

Barnes & Noble shares lost more than 3 percent Monday, closing at $4.70. The stock has fallen more than 55 percent from a year ago, according to CNBC.

Barnes and Noble stayed in the changing retail market, outlasting rivals such as Borders and Hastings, which had Treasure Valley stores and closed them in the past decade. Retail trends continue to favor big online retailers such as Amazon.com.

Barnes and Noble has 632 stores nationally. As of April 29, 2017, the company employed about 26,000 people, according to BN.com.

Dana Oland: 208-377-6442, @DanaOland

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