Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blackwell Decline Continues

Blackwell Retail Makes 30 Redundant :

Some 30 staff at academic bookseller Blackwell have been made redundant following a store restructure. David Prescott, head of retail operations at the firm, said the staff came from a number of shops and held “varying roles and responsibilities”.

New shop structures have now been rolled-out across the chain. Prescott said the job losses were part of “the ongoing turnround plan” for Blackwell Retail, which earlier this year announced a loss of £7.6m for the year ended June 2007 and warned it would not make a profit in the next financial year.

“Our shop structures were felt to be very inconsistent, did not allow us to match sales patterns and did not allow adequate flexibility,” said Prescott. “We had inconsistent roles throughout the chain and this therefore made succession planning difficult and too cost-heavy. As such it made it difficult to manage our productivity and performance.”

Prescott said the changes resulting from the store review had allowed Blackwell to give the managers of each shop “greater control of their payroll management and localised trading patterns”. He added: “These decisions have been taken at a local level and will help to ensure that shops are able to meet their local customers’ needs.” Consultation was ongoing with a small number of people, the company added.