Bookshop chain Waterstone’s announced it will make redundancies in Staffordshire after moving to a new distribution system.
But it would not put a number on the job losses to come as it introduces the cost-cutting system for delivering books to its stores.
The announcement comes at a time of difficult trading for Waterstone’s, which last month blamed poor non-fiction demand for a drop in sales.
The chain said that a “number” of redundancies are expected as its centralised distribution hub in Burton upon Trent comes into full operation.
Employees have been told a 90-day consultation period will begin shortly with those affected.
The new system is intended to slash the time staff in stores spend dealing with deliveries, as well as having environmental benefits.
Shops currently receive multiple deliveries of stock which have to be unpacked and sorted each day.
This will be reduced to just one daily delivery, as the new hub will receive and merchandise around 70 million books per year, delivering them to stores. It will also handle book returns.
A spokeswoman said: “Waterstone’s will be moving to full distribution via its new multi-million pound distribution centre in Burton upon Trent within the coming months.
“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.”