Allbirds announced plans to further streamline operations by reducing the size of its workforce. The brand didn’t specify the number of workers being affected, but it made a filing with the FTC that noted 21 employees had been laid off globally in May. As part of broader business restructuring and streamlining measures, Co-founder and Co-CEO Tim Brown will transition from his current role to the newly created position of Chief Innovation Officer.
“I’m looking forward to supporting [Co-founder] Joe [Zwillinger] as he continues to lead the business as our CEO on a day-to-day basis,” said Brown on a call with investors. “While my role has changed, one thing hasn’t, and that’s my long-term focus and belief in the potential of this brand and business. I know both how far we have come and how much further we can go.”
The downsizing is expected to deliver approximately $7 million in annualized selling, general, and administrative expense (SG&A) savings compared to 2022 costs, with the full year impact being felt in 2024. This is the latest step in the retailer’s efforts to save $15 million to $20 million in annualized SG&A costs.
This is the second straight quarter in which Allbirds experienced a revenue drop in the 13% range. The former DTC darling had a disappointing Q1 2023 in which net revenue dropped 13.4% year-over-year to $54.4 million, creating a net loss of $35.2 million. Gross margin also declined from 51.9% to 40.1%. The loss of margin was attributed to a decrease in average selling price driven by promotional activity, a higher mix of third-party sales and an estimated $1.2 million negative impact from foreign exchange.
As a result, the company has undertaken a series of cost-cutting measures including eliminating the Chief Commercial Officer position and shifting to a regional focus, which includes creating an omnichannel North America structure that reports directly to executive management. The retailer also is slowing the rate of new store openings while “selectively” expanding its presence in the wholesale channel.
Despite the poor results, Allbirds leadership remains optimistic cost-saving measures are getting the company is on the right track towards greater success in the future.
“Our teams are executing well against our strategic transformation plan designed to reignite growth, improve capital efficiency and drive profitability,” said Zwillinger in a statement. “The dedication and hard work of our flock resulted in a quarter that demonstrated good progress on our strategic initiatives while exceeding our expectations.”