Wayfair cuts 5% of global workforce as sales slump

The company is laying off nearly 900 workers, including 400 in Boston.

August 19, 2022, 10:54 AM

Online home goods retailer Wayfair is laying off nearly 900 workers worldwide, which amounts to 5% of the company's workforce, the company said in a memo to employees on Friday. The cuts include about 400 jobs in Boston, where Wayfair is headquartered, the company said.

Wayfair saw business surge during the pandemic, as people stuck at home eschewed brick-and-mortar shopping and increased spending on furniture, home renovations, and other domestic improvements. But the economic environment has turned against the company, as inflation has strained household budgets and limited nonessential purchases.

"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," Niraj Shah, the founder and CEO of Wayfair, said in the memo. "This year, that growth has not materialized as we had anticipated."

Laid-off employees will receive severance based on geography, tenure and level, Wayfair said. The company is offering U.S.-based employees a minimum of 10 weeks pay, as well as continued vesting of existing equity through October, the company added.

Wayfair instituted a hiring freeze in May, signaling that its near-term outlook had changed. In total, the company has 18,000 employees.

The Wayfair Inc. website is displayed on a laptop computer on Feb. 18, 2021.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

In early trading on Friday morning, the company's stock fell more than 10%.

"We are actively navigating Wayfair towards a level of profitability that will allow us to control our own destiny, while still investing aggressively in the future," Shah, the CEO of Wayfair, said.

"This macro environment doesn't change our belief in the size of the opportunity ahead, and we are moving purposefully to seize that opportunity," he added.

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