2023 has just begun and several major retail companies have already announced job cuts as businesses rush to reduce costs.
After months of post-pandemic gains, many companies that over-hired in 2021 and early 2022 are now trimming staff as inflation has hit many bottom lines. The additional concern of an impending recession is also not helping to calm fears, as companies look for a way forward.
Here’s a running list of the major layoffs announced across the retail industry in 2023.
Amazon amended its original November layoff announcement on Jan. 5, updating the total number of job cuts from 10,000 to 18,000. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the staff reduction in a memo to employees and said the planning and review process for 2023 had been “more difficult given the uncertain economy” and the company’s rapid hiring over the last few years. The November reductions impacted the company’s Devices and Books businesses and included voluntary reduction offers for some employees in the People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) teams. The new layoffs will impact people in Amazon Stores and its PXT organization.
Bed Bath and Beyond
After issuing a dire warning about the future of its business and noting the potential for bankruptcy on Jan. 5, the home goods retailer said it would lay off staff, according to a Jan. 10 report from CNBC. In a Jan. 11 statement to FN, Bed Bath and Beyond confirmed the layoffs, which came as the retailer reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and dropping sales. “As our strategic direction changes and we streamline our operations, it is necessary to right-size our organization to ensure we are equipped for the future. Unfortunately, this has necessitated making the difficult decision to say goodbye to some of our colleagues,” the company said in a statement. The remaining employees will be focused on the company’s turnaround plan, the company said.
Bolt, which offers a one-click checkout product to retailers like Forever 21 and Lucky Brand, laid off close to 50 people in late January, according to a report in The Information. In a statement, the company said it “regretfully had to make the difficult decision to restructure our teams and part ways with some of our talented employees” as it focuses on long-term growth and its bolstering its core products.
British fashion company Boohoo Group is planning on cutting more than 100 jobs at its London corporate offices. A spokesperson for the Manchester-based group said that a consultation phase is underway but a decision on the exact number of job cuts has not yet been made. UK newspaper The Times reported that the retailer is consulting on more than 100 redundancies, adding that the affected roles are in the e-commerce, buying, and design departments. “Our people teams will be supporting those potentially affected,” the spokesperson said. “We are committed to our portfolio and believe that all of our brands have a significant role in the ongoing success of the group and are maximising their individual potential for growth.”
On Jan. 4, the San Francisco-based fashion brand announced the reduction of its corporate workforce by 17% in an email to staff from the CEO, which was viewed by FN. In explaining the layoffs, the email cited inflation and recession fears and a desire to achieve profitability moving forward. Everlane is also reducing its retail team by less than 3% across various stores, a brand spokesperson confirmed. In total, the layoffs impact 8.6% of Everlane staff. “This tough decision is intended to improve profitability in 2023 and continue our efforts to help leave the fashion industry cleaner than we found it,” the spokesperson said.
Kohl’s on Jan. 25 eliminated less than 60 positions across the company, primarily in the marketing and merchandising teams, said Jen Johnson, a spokeswoman for Kohl’s. These changes were a result of reorganization in parts of the company meant “to drive greater efficiency,” Johnson said, adding that impacted employees were offered a severance package and outplacement services.
On Jan. 31, PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman announced the company would be reducing its global workforce by approximately 2,000 full time employees, which is about 7% of its total employees. These reductions will occur over the coming weeks, with some organizations impacted more than others, Schulman said in a note to employees. “We will treat our departing colleagues with the utmost respect and empathy, provide them with generous packages, engage in consultation where required, and support them with their transitions,” the CEO said. “I want to express my personal appreciation for the meaningful contributions they have made to PayPal.”
REI president and CEO Eric Artz said in a company-wide email on Jan. 31 that REI would lay off 167 employees as it restructures its headquarters in Kent, Wash. The cuts impact 8% of workers in the HQ and 1% of the company’s total workforce.
Hudson’s Bay company said in late January that it would lay people off from all three of its e-commerce sites: The Bay, Saks Off 5th’s e-commerce site and Saks.com, Retaildive reported. The cuts at the Bay reflect less than 2% of employees, a spokesperson told Retaildive. The Saks.com cuts impact about 100 roles, or 3.5% of total workforce.
On Jan. 4, Salesforce announced it would lay off about 10% of its employees and close some offices in order to trim costs. The company expects the move to lead to about $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion in charges, of which about $800 million to $1 billion will be recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023.“ The environment remains challenging and our customers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions,” co-CEO Marc Benioff said in the letter.
On Jan. 5, the online styling service announced it would cut close to 20% of salaried roles. At the same time, its CEO Elizabeth Spaulding said she would step down from her post and founder Katrina Lake will step in as interim CEO until a successor is named. This is in addition to the company’s elimination of close to 330 positions, or 15% of salaried roles, in June, which represented 4% of total roles. These cuts were mostly concentrated in non-technology corporate positions and styling leadership roles. At the time, Spaulding said the layoffs were partly a result of the company’s business performance and “an uncertain macroeconomic environment.”
On Jan. 31, Wish parent company ContextLogic Inc. said it will cut 17% of its workforce, or 150 employees, in a new SEC filing. According to the filing, the cuts are intended to “refocus” the company’s operations to support its ongoing business prioritization efforts, better align resources and improve operational efficiencies. With these cuts, the company said it expects to save between $14 million to $23 million on an annual basis starting in the third quarter.