New York City Barnes & Noble Inc. said Wednesday that it has eliminated nearly 100 positions in its corporate headquarters as the bookseller attempts to reduce overhead costs due to the sharp downturn in retail sales.
Barnes & Noble said most of the job cuts were due to the company's reduction in store openings and consolidation of functions within its retail and online operations.
As a result, the company expects to book an after-tax charge of $2.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.
"It should be noted, this is the first time in the company's history we've had to do this," said chief executive Steve Riggio in a statement. "The business climate in which we are operating is unprecedented, and therefore, the reduction in expenses is inevitable."
Barnes & Noble said it is providing the affected employees with healthcare benefits for the next 12 months as part of their severance package. The company will also provide them with outplacement counseling and transition seminars.
Last week, Barnes & Noble reported that its holiday season same-store sales fell 7.7%, while total sales fell 5.2% as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.