Three of the biggest online retailers announced layoffs this week. Macy’s, Amazon, and Wayfair will all cut their workforces in the first month of 2024.
Macy’s ranks No. 17 in the 2023 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000. The Top 1000 is a ranking of North America’s leading retailers by online sales. Amazon ranks No. 1, and Wayfair ranks No. 10.
Macy’s cuts corporate staff
Macy’s will lay off 2,350 members of its corporate staff, The Wall Street Journal reported. That’s 13% of its corporate staff, and 3.5% of its overall workforce, excluding seasonal workers. Their last day will be Jan. 26.
“As we prepare to deploy a new strategy to meet the needs of an everchanging consumer and marketplace, we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce by 3.5% to become a more streamlined company,” Macy’s said in a statement. Following the layoffs, Macy’s will add automation to its supply chain and outsource some roles, according to a memo viewed by The WSJ.
The retailer will also close five Macy’s locations in California, Hawaii, Virginia and Florida.
It has not yet reported holiday sales results. Macy’s reported net sales declined 7% to $5 billion in its fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 28. Digital sales and brick-and-mortar sales declined at the same rate. Macy’s online marketplace is growing, with GMV (gross merchandise volume) up 22% over Q2, the retailer said.
The average customer “continues to be under pressure and discerning about how they spend in discretionary categories we offer,” president Tony Spring told investors. Spring is poised to take over as CEO in February.
Wayfair pursues another round of layoffs
Wayfair will cut 1,650 workers, it announced Friday. That’s 13% of its total workforce and 19% of corporate workers.
“The changes announced today reflect a return to our core principles on resource allocation, such as getting fit on spans and layers as well as focusing on our highest priorities. As a result, we’re reducing team sizes across the organization, as well as reducing seniority in certain roles that we plan to rebuild with modified leveling over the course of this year,” CEO Niraj Shah said in a press release. The layoffs are expected to save about $280 million annually, Wayfair said.
The news comes weeks after Shah announced the online furniture retailer had become profitable again. At the time, he sent a memo to workers encouraging frugality and long hours.
“Working long hours, being responsive, blending work and life, is not anything to shy away from,” he wrote. “There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success.”
Amazon layoffs hit Buy with Prime
Amazon announced plans to lay off about 5% of its Buy with Prime unit on Thursday. That amounts to just over 30 workers, Reuters reported.
Buy with Prime gives retailers access to Amazon’s fulfillment and logistics network and payments system for products not listed on Amazon. In the week preceding the layoffs, Amazon announced a new integration for the service for Salesforce clients.
“Buy with Prime is a top priority for Amazon, with strong adoption from merchants and positive feedback from customers, and we will continue investing significant resources in Buy with Prime to build on that momentum. We’re grateful to these employees for their contributions, and we’re focused on supporting them in their next steps,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Amazon also laid off 500 workers at streaming platform Twitch and hundreds of employees at Prime Video earlier in January.
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