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Shopify to cut 1,000 jobs

Shopify is to cut 1,000 jobs.

The multinational e-commerce company - which serves as a platform for several online shops- is set to lay off 10% of its workforce after mistakenly expecting a surge in growth during the pandemic.

Founder and CEO Tobi Lutke said in a staff email: "I’m sitting down to write this email not far from where I once sat down to write the first few lines of code for Shopify itself. Those lines of code started a company and sent it on a fascinating journey full of wonder, toil, success, failure, ambition, and above all else comradery. Being on a journey, surrounded by great teammates, doing difficult things is what it’s all about. All this makes this email so much harder to write: the next part of the journey will involve fewer teammates than we have picked up along the way. Shopify has to go through a reduction in workforce that will see about 10% leave by the end of the day."

The website boss - who set up the back in 2006 at its Ottowa headquarters - went on to explain that the "duplicate roles" created during the COVID-19 pandemic will be most affected and apologised to his workforce for getting things "wrong".

He added: "Most of the impacted roles are in recruiting, support, and sales, and across the company we’re also eliminating over-specialized and duplicate roles, as well as some groups that were convenient to have but too far removed from building products. Emails will go out in the next few minutes that will clarify if your role was affected; those impacted will then have a meeting with a lead in their team.

Before the pandemic, eCommerce growth had been steady and predictable. Was this surge to be a temporary effect or a new normal? And so, given what we saw, we placed another bet: We bet that the channel mix – the share of dollars that travel through eCommerce rather than physical retail – would permanently leap ahead by 5 or even 10 years. We couldn’t know for sure at the time, but we knew that if there was a chance that this was true, we would have to expand the company to match. .

"It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off. What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-Covid data would have suggested it should be at this point. Still growing steadily, but it wasn’t a meaningful 5-year leap ahead. Our market share in eCommerce is a lot higher than it is in retail, so this matters. Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong. Now, we have to adjust. As a consequence, we have to say goodbye to some of you today and I’m deeply sorry for that."

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