Wayfair will lay offapproximately 10% of its corporate employees — 870 corporate workers or about 5% of its global workforce, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The layoffs are part of a previously announced plan to manage the retailer’s expenses.
“Over the past few years, we’ve grown Wayfair significantly to keep pace with the ecommerce growth in the home category,” said Niraj Shah, Co-founder and CEO of Wayfair in a letter to employees. “We were seeing the tailwinds of the pandemic accelerate the adoption of ecommerce shopping, and I personally pushed hard to hire a strong team to support that growth. This year, that growth has not materialized as we had anticipated. Our team is too large for the environment we are now in, and unfortunately we need to adjust.”
Shah laid out the changes being made at the company into three categories:
- Thinning out management layers to enable team members to focus on execution;
- Aligning work better with the company’s strategic priorities; and
- Adjusting areas that have “simply grown faster than our current revenue trajectory can support.”
Wayfair also is in the process of reducing its third-party labor costs, though the company didn’t specify what this would entail.
The news follows two weeks after weak Q2 2022 results, including a 14.9% year-over-year drop in total net revenue to $3.3 billion. U.S. net revenue was $2.8 billion, down 9.7% year-over-year. Additionally, Wayfair’s active customer count was 23.6 million as of June 30, 2022, which is down 24.1% compared to June 2021.
Wayfair is looking to improve future performance through investments in both supply chain and technology. Efforts include expanding its fast delivery capabilities, growing its flagship house brands and increasing its assortment of exclusives. The retailer also brought a new CFO on board in May 2022 to help navigate its shrinking customer base.
Wayfair isn’t alone in making layoffs to cut costs during an economic downturn that has impacted even the largest retailers. Other companies that recently cut staff include:
- Walmart, which reportedly laid off 200 employees across the merchandising, global technology and real estate teams, according to The Wall Street Journal;
- Alibaba, which reportedly laid off 10,000 employees as new lockdowns slowed China’s economic recovery, according to the South China Morning Post;
- Bath & Body Works, which laid off 130 employees, mostly from leadership roles, to create organizational efficiencies by simplifying and realigning its operating structure; and
- Warby Parker, which is cutting 63 corporate jobs, representing approximately 15% of its corporate workforce, as part of a restructuring effort.