Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Borders Axe Falls

Rumors were rife this weekend at BookExpo about the situation at Borders and the news was confirmed today regarding a significant headcount reduction. The company released a press statement that said in part,
As part of this expense reduction program, management reported that the company is today implementing a corporate payroll reduction that includes the elimination of 156 corporate positions spread across virtually all departments of its Ann Arbor headquarters. Employees at the company's headquarters were informed of the job eliminations this morning. In addition, Borders Group has eliminated 118 corporate posts that are based outside its headquarters, impacting primarily corporate employees in distribution centers, the field marketing organization, and the corporate sales division. These employees were informed yesterday. In total, the corporate payroll reduction eliminates approximately 20% of the company's corporate positions but less than 1% of its total workforce. The job elimination, with the exception of less than a handful of positions, is limited to corporate employees and does not involve store employees at the company's 547 Borders superstores and 475 Waldenbooks Specialty Retail stores worldwide.

Naturally, this news will only make publishers more nervous about extending credit to the company. A deal to sell the business can not come too soon.

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