WHSmith staff are bracing themselves for a swathe of job losses at head office that are expected to be announced within a fortnight.
The cuts are likely to affect between 200 and 300 staff at the retailer's 1,200-strong headquarters in Swindon.
A well-placed source said: 'It is more about people leaving than joining this business at the moment.'
New boss Kate Swann's root- and-branch review of the retailer has reputedly left no stone unturned, and has included a re-appraisal of the WHSmith product offering.
Different zoning of products has been tested, such as emphasising books, news and stationery. Proposals are said to have included outsourcing greetings card buying to a single, big supplier that would eventually deal with other card suppliers.
A revamped marketing strategy is also in the pipeline, with a fresh media buyer to be announced imminently, and a creative ad agency to be appointed by the beginning of next month.