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Walmart, Allbirds, StockX and Other Companies Laying Off Staff Amid the Economic Downturn

As the U.S. economy suffers, layoffs and hiring freezes are ripping through various industries.

Just last week, the U.S. economy retracted for the second quarter in a row, sparking recession concerns. In the wake of the downturn, companies across tech, retail, media have announced efforts to restructure their organizations and let employees go to cut costs.

The total number of separations in June, which includes quits, layoffs and discharges, was 5.9 million at a rate of 3.9%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here’s a running list of the major layoffs announced across the retail industry.

Allbirds

In late July, Allbirds laid off 23 people.

“We have thoughtfully evaluated roles and processes in each department, and in each market, to ensure our operating structure is set-up for the next phase of growth,” an Allbirds spokesperson said in a statement. “In this process, we looked for ways to streamline workflows, reduce duplicative efforts, and put past learnings and operational insights into practice.

Rocky Brands Inc.

Rocky Brands Inc. in June announced a round of layoffs stemming from its 2021 acquisition of five boot brands from Honeywell International Inc.

The Nelsonville, Ohio-based company bought the performance and lifestyle footwear business from Honeywell for $230 million in a cash-and-debt deal that was completed in March 2021. The portfolio included The Original Muck Boot Company, as well as the Xtratuf, Servus, Neos and Ranger brands.

After conducting a cost-savings review of the group, Rocky Brands said it identified several “operational synergies and cost saving opportunities,” including closing the Boston offices that it gained in the acquisition and reducing the non-manufacturing headcount at the acquired brands by approximately 13%.

Shopify

Shopify in July laid off 10% of its staff.

In a letter to employees, co-founder and CEO Tobi Lütke said most of the impacted roles were in recruiting, support, and sales. Over-specialized and duplicate roles, as well as some groups that were “convenient to have but too far removed from building products” were also affected.

The layoffs came as the pandemic-era online shopping boom slows. Lütke said he was wrong on his projections for continued e-commerce demand.

StockX

In June, StockX laid off 8% of its workforce. The resale platform’s CEO Scott Cutler announced the layoffs to employees in an email, which said the company had taken measures to reduce costs by prioritizing existing investments, reducing discretionary expenses, placing limits on new hires and improving efficiency in the company’s trade process.

In a statement to FN, StockX said that it needed to adapt and pivot its business to keep up with “macroeconomic challenges” that are currently impacting the economy and its business.

Walmart

Walmart in early August confirmed it was cutting jobs as the company updates its structure and evolves certain roles “to provide clarity and better position the company for a strong future,” a spokesperson said.

The retailer will cut hundreds of corporate roles, according the The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

The news came about a week after the big-box retailer slashed its outlook for Q2 as consumer spending softened, especially in discretionary categories like apparel.

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