In New York, Barnes & Noble has cut four per cent of its workforce at its head office, eliminating about 100 jobs. The cull is reportedly the result of a reduction in store openings and 'the consolidation of support areas of B&N's online and retail businesses'. Only about 15 new outlets are planned in 2009, compared with 35 last year. CEO Steve Riggio described the business climate as 'unprecedented'.
The figure includes 'a handful' of positions at B&N's publishing arm, Sterling. The most high-profile casualty is Philip Turner, hired two years ago from Avalon to launch Union Square Press, a list of narrative non-fiction. The list will continue, though it's not yet clear under whose direction; it will however be trimmed from its ambitious target of 40 titles a year.
Sterling is currently enjoying a New Year success with Paul McKenna's I Can Make You Thin, which is performing 'fantastically well'.