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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 05Jan02
By Kent Larsen
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Deseret Book Lays-off 14 From Headquarters Staff

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- In what some employees are calling the first large layoff in its history, Deseret Book issued pink slips this morning to 14 employees at its Salt Lake City headquarters. The sudden layoffs apparently took the staff by surprise and left many wondering why the 135-year-old company would take such a step.

The employees were let go from several areas of the company, including its publishing, public relations and marketing areas. One source says that some areas of the headquarters staff were cut by almost 50%, and even maintained that some classes of employees were overlooked in the layoffs.

Reasons for the move are far from clear. Craig Nelson, President of the Southern California-based Ensign Books chain of LDS stores says that with the overall economy down this fall, his stores did see a decline in sales for the year. "Through October our stores were fine, but in November and December we noticed a significant decline over the previous year." Nelson says none of the stores equaled last year's sales, and that overall sales were down about 1%.

But Nelson adds, Deseret Book's products seemed to be doing as well as ever. Deseret Book's new compilation of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley's 'counsel and inspiration,' "Stand a Little Taller" actually set a record for his stores, outselling the previous record by two or three times. Meanwhile, Deseret Book's fellow publisher Covenant Communications says it too has heard from bookstores that sales have been flat.

But flat sales may not entirely explain why Deseret Book has cut its staff. The company recently finished a nine-month-long process installing a new computerized inventory system, and it is possible that the system made some functions redundant. But even that doesn't explain the cuts in Marketing and publicity staffs, which companies hire to increase sales.


Deseret Book Lays-off 14 From Headquarters Staff
Kent Larsen 4Jan02 B3


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