Waterstone's planning redundancies

LONDON Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:21pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Books retailer Waterstone's said on Tuesday it was planning redundancies.

The retailer, owned by HMV Group, said the unspecified level of job losses would follow its move to full distribution of supplies through a new multi-million pound centre in Burton on Trent within the coming months.

A report in the Guardian said 200 jobs would be axed.

"The Waterstone's Book Hub, which has been developed with supply chain experts Unipart over the last year, will radically alter the existing supply chain that sees stores receive multiple deliveries of hundreds of boxes every day," the retailer said in a statement.

"The Hub will receive, merchandise and sort by section an estimated 70 million books per year, and deliver them directly to store."

Waterstone's said the efficiencies introduced will lead to a reduction in time spent at store level dealing with deliveries.

"It is anticipated that a number of redundancies will result from this process," it said, adding that a 90-day consultation period will begin shortly with affected staff.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Cowell)

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