Meanwhile, Food Lion acquires more stores, Wayfair names a chief technology officer, Contentsquare raises funds, as well as other news from Printful and Kibo.

Subscription apparel retailer Stitch Fix, No. 40 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, plans to lay off 1,400 California-based stylists—or about 18% of its total staff—by the end of September, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. Stitch Fix has about 8,000 employees, 5,100 of them stylists. The retailer’s stylists curate the Stitch Fix boxes for its customers.

“We have taken the very difficult decision to reduce the number of stylists in our styling team in California, as we invest in our other styling hubs across the U.S., and the innovations that will help evolve our experience in the future,” said Katrina Lake, Stitch Fix founder and CEO, in a statement. “Any decision that impacts our hardworking and talented people is incredibly tough, but we believe this is the right thing to do for our business.”

The stylists who were laid off will have the chance to relocate and continue to work for Stitch Fix. The online retailer plans over the next several months to hire about 2,000 stylists in other, “lower-cost” locations, such as Minneapolis and Dallas and Austin, Texas.

Stitch Fix plans to report its fiscal third quarter earnings next week. It last reported its sales increased to $451.8 million in its second quarter of fiscal 2020 ended Feb. 1, up 22.0% from $370.3 million in the year-ago period. Additionally, its active customers, or shoppers who have purchased in the past year, increased to 3.5 million consumers, which is a 17% year-over-year increase. At the time, Lake said the coronavirus had not impacted its sales to-date, but it could in the future. However, the retailer withdrew its 2020 guidance in April.

In other ecommerce news:

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  • Grocery retailer Food Lion—owned by Ahold Delhaize, No. 9 in the Digital Commerce 360 Europe 500—plans to purchase 62 BI-LO and Harveys Supermarket stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia from Southeastern Grocers. These stores will add to the 630 stores it operates across these states. BI-LO and Harveys stores will retain their name until the transaction completes, which is estimated to be by April 2021. The stores then will be converted to Food Lion stores. The grocery retailer plans to hire more than 4,650 employees for its newly acquired stores.
  • Home goods retailer Wayfair Inc. (No. 6 in the Top 1000) named Jim Miller as chief technology officer, a position he’s temporarily held since August 2019. Miller will continue to provide strategic direction and leadership for the retailer’s tech operations. Prior to Wayfair, Miller was CEO of supply chain technology company AREVO. He was also vice president of worldwide operations at Google from June 2010 to February 2018.
  • Analytics vendor Contentsquare received $190 million in Series D funding, bringing its total funding to $310 million. BlackRock’s Private Equity Partners led the funding round. Contentsquare plans to use the funding to continue investing in innovation, such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, and to expand its business in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Contentsquare now analyzes 10 trillion consumer interactions, including $1.4 billion worth of ecommerce sales per day. “[This funding] validates the strength of our vision for the next five years and extends our global leadership in experience analytics at a time when these capabilities are critical to all businesses,” said Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO of Contentsquare, in a press release announcing the funding. “We have the ambition to accelerate the world’s digital transformation, by unlocking a full understanding of online behaviors.”
  • Cloud commerce company Kibo appointed Brian Wilson as chief operating officer, in which he will oversee customer experience for ecommerce services. Before joining Kibo, Wilson was chief customer officer at information technology services and operations company Zenoss for more than eight years.
  • On-demand printing and warehouse company Printful has added an integration with Webflow, a drag-and-drop website building and ecommerce platform that has more than 1 million users. The team-up will allow merchants to sell Printful products on their Webflow stores. Printful customers must subscribe to Webflow’s ecommerce plans, which range from $29-$42 per month. In addition, Printful added an image-upscaling tool called the Printful Smart Image Tool. When shoppers upload images that aren’t high quality, the artificial intelligence-based tool will automatically adjust the image for printing purposes by doubling the DPI (dots per inch) of the design.
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