Borders Books is a company undergoing tremendous changes as it works to turn around its business in a flagging industry. Yet, based on some comments to a previous post, it seems like they’ve pissed off one of their most important assets – people. Here are a few excerpts:
From the front lines, those â€œstrategic alternativesâ€ included getting rid of managers and supervisors, eliminating the employee gift card of $25/mo. for full time employees, eliminating time and a half for all employees working holidays and the thing that is guaranteed to save their rosy butts â€” charging employees 35 cents for tea and coffee that had been previously free.
We have also been vigorously sending back music and book product to the vendors in order to get quick credit back at the expense of our empty bookshelves and music/DVD units …
… managers have been asked to cut back on supply ordering, and necessary repairs are not being completed.
My brother works for Borders and he said that they have just cut out the employee of the month program (probably because there was a $25 gift card given to the recipient).
Borders fires there dave Carpenter winner for 2005 because he cares about the customers. now they want to go to St Charles Ave. with no one that knows the city of New orleans. Is getting rid of your long standing employees a good idea?
I didn’t expect Borders employees to find my little corner of the Internet. I’m pleased though! They’ve found a place to vent and it’s extremely interesting to get their perspective on the changes taking place.
Some of the gripes above revolve around entitlements, perks that are now being taken away. I know some may say these folks are just whining but, if true, these moves are very short-sighted in my opinion. Books are not unique, they are essentially commodity products. Price is clearly a big part of the equation but the experience can also have a large impact on sales.
I doubt customers are getting the best service if these comments are a true indication of the current climate in Borders stores. And Borders needs every advantage they can get with Barnes and Noble, a host of online venues, and big box retailers like Target and Wal-Mart ratcheting up the competition.
So I again must ask whether Borders is really interested in turning around their business for the long haul or are they just looking to make the short-term financials look appealing enough to Barnes and Noble?