Bookseller + Publisher is reporting that there have been a round of redundancies at the firm.
A PR spokesperson said that “a small number of staff” have been offered redundancies and that the staff members affected have been consulted about redeployment.”
“Consulted about redeployment” sounds like they are all just staying and changing roles – but apparently not.
The Weekly Book Newsletter understands that fewer than 10 people will be leaving the company and that the staff members affected by the changes are in support positions and not working in the company’s stores.
The retailing chain also announced today that group communications manager Malcolm Neil has resigned and will take up to role of director of vendor relations for Kobo Australia and New Zealand in December.
In my dealings with Neil he seemed to be doing a great job in a hard role, so it’s easy to imagine that he jumped off a sinking ship. But that’s complete speculation on my part. It would make sense to go with the stability of a North American firm that is playing in a much bigger ebook market.
The bookselling industry is struggling here, and it’s well-known that REDgroup have struggled with the financial burder on their investment in ebooks. But it’s an investment they had to make to turn the corner, and avoid the gradual demise of the brigks and mortar-only chains.
But will this only serve to bring on a quicker death?
Again from Bookseller+Publisher, last week they reported that an internal email was sent to REDGroup employees indicating the company was moving to cut costs, by methods including staff reductions, and reducing its range of CDs and DVDs, while also increasing its focus on ‘gift’ items.
Bad signs, indeed. I think all Aussie ebook-lovers would hope our largest (some would say only legit) ebook vendor doesn’t hit the wall!