With sales at Barnes & Noble in the fiscal year ended April 28 dropping 6% compared to fiscal 2017 and a host of one-time charges contributing to a net loss of $125.5 million compared to net income of $22.0 million in 2017, CEO Demos Parneros acknowledged that fiscal 2018 was a “challenging year.” He said that some of the changes the company has made led to modest improvements in certain areas but told analysts during a conference call discussing the recent results that turnarounds take time. Parneros announced B&N’s latest strategic plan in March.
One of the most immediate effects of the new plan was that B&N cut expenses by $52 million in fiscal 2018, with about $40 million of that coming from eliminating 3,000 full-time retail positions as it created a new store labor model. According to B&N’s 10-K filing with the SEC, the company had 8,000 full-time retail employees as of April 28, down from 11,000 a year ago. The number of part-time employees remained at 15,000. ($16.2 million in severance payments were among B&N’s one-time charges.)