Borders cuts 164 positions amid sales slump

The company has cut 124 corporate jobs, including 88 at its Ann Arbor, Mich., headquarters and 36 corporate staffers in other locations. The company also cut 40 from distribution centers in Tennessee and California.

In total the cuts are less than 1 percent of Border’s 22,500 workers.

The moves come the same week CEO Ron Marshall left to become head of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. supermarket chain, forcing Borders to seek its fourth CEO in five years. It also follows a disappointing holiday season and three straight quarterly losses.

Borders is facing increased competition from online rivals and discounters, declining music sales and consumers curtailing their spending during the recession. Borders reported last week that sales at its namesake superstores open at least a year were down 14.6 percent for the crucial holiday period.

Borders has cut jobs and shuttered stores to boost its finances while also shifting its focus from less-profitable categories such as music to concentrate more on children’s books, toys, stationery and its cafe.

The chain announced in November that it would close 200 Waldenbooks and Borders Express stores and cut 1,500 jobs this month in order to become more profitable.

Shares fell 6 cents to close at 88 cents.

(This version CORRECTS figures for headquarters layoffs.)

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