Exclusive: Borders' Third Wave of Layoffs This Year


Just days after struggling book retailer Borders (BGP) unveiled a two-prong CEO structure, appointing new chairman Bennett LeBow to oversee the entire company while Mike Edwards' interim status became permanent, the company has gone through its third round of layoffs in the past six months.

DailyFinance has learned this newest wave of job losses affects the Paperchase division, Borders' London-based stationery, cards and gifts subsidiary that operates 337 shops located within the United States. The entire Paperchase field team has been eliminated, effective immediately, as have a substantial number of managerial positions. It is not known at this time how many employees have been laid off, but those affected are to receive severance pay from the company.

Borders cut 164 positions, mostly at its corporate headquarters, in late January, as well as an unspecified number of positions on March 4, a date referred to by employees as "Black Thursday." Overall, Borders employs about 25,000 people.

"Borders is always looking for opportunities to improve performance and profitability. Any recent changes are a continuation of our efforts," said Borders spokesperson Mary Davis in an email message to DailyFinance.

Ironically, Paperchase provided a silver lining in an otherwise dreary first quarter for Borders: the stationery arm is part of the company's international division, which rose nearly 4% to $22.4 million in the period ending May 1.