Sixty-six managers depart Waterstones

Sixty-six managers depart Waterstones

Waterstones has confirmed that 66 managers left the chain last week as part of its management restructure, with a number declining to go through the chain’s assessment process.

One Waterstones employee described morale in the business as being at “rock bottom”.

All 487 branch and assistant manager positions were earmarked for redundancy at the end of May as the restructure and consultation process began, with staff invited to apply for the new position of Bookshop Manager, which Waterstones m.d. James Daunt said was designed to put more emphasis on “traditional shop floor bookselling".

The majority of the 66 who have left the chain departed last Friday (19th July) after declining to take part in an assessment process to reapply for their jobs.

Daunt told The Bookseller he believed the process had been “fair and transparent” and emphasized that “the majority” of people had passed the assessment centre process and had been given new Bookshop Manager roles in the company.

But one manager, who did not want to be named, told The Bookseller: “We feel all those with loyal service have been singled out and morale is at rock bottom."

Full coverage of this story will appear in Friday's edition of The Bookseller.