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Quiet cutting: Wayfair undergoes multiple, small rounds of layoffs

Wayfair has been cutting small numbers of jobs in recent weeks, across various parts of the company.Jenny Kane/Associated Press

Online retailer Wayfair has been quietly cutting dozens of jobs in recent weeks, despite undergoing two rounds of major layoffs over the past 18 months.

Unlike the company’s large-scale layoffs in January and last August, the recent cuts, which have not been previously reported, have been made weekly in small groups of about 10 people at a time, according to two employees who lost their jobs. Severance offers across the board were about half the amount given to employees cut in January, they said.

“It seems very different than the mass layoffs,” Diane Lipski, a Boston-based photo retoucher who lost her job in November after six years at Wayfair, said in an interview. “They have been doing micro layoffs every single week for at least 10 weeks straight.”

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Although Wayfair publicly announced the two earlier job reductions, it did not disclose the recent layoffs in advance.

Wayfair declined to disclose how many jobs were eliminated. “As always, our business leaders are empowered to make decisions on the optimal size and shape of their teams to operate efficiently, meet evolving business needs, and best serve our customers,” the company said in a statement to the Globe. “At times that has led to an elimination of some roles and in other areas we are actively hiring.”

In January, Wayfair said it was cutting 1,750 jobs, or 10 percent of the company’s workforce. That followed 870 jobs eliminated in August 2022.

After mass layoffs in the tech sector last year, many companies appear to be making smaller, less publicized job cuts at the end of 2023. Amazon recently cut an unspecified number of jobs in its Alexa unit, for example, and Google has also reportedly laid off people in many areas.

At Wayfair, the cuts described by former employees appeared to come from various parts of the company, ranging from photography to construction and engineering. Wayfair had about 14,000 employees after the January layoff earlier this year.

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The Boston-based home goods seller has been struggling with a sales downturn since experiencing a sales boom at the beginning of the pandemic. Sales peaked in the middle of 2020, as people forced to work remotely set up home offices and made their homes more comfortable. But Wayfair’s sales generally have been sinking since, as consumers shifted spending to travel and other sectors. In the third quarter, Wayfair’s sales of $2.9 billion were up 4 percent from 2022 but still below 2021 and 2020 levels.

Wayfair chief executive and cofounder Niraj Shah has also been trying to prove to stock market investors that the company will be able to turn a profit even if its sales grow slowly or shrink. “We remain committed to our profitability goals in good times and bad,” Shah said in a statement on Nov. 1 when the company released its third-quarter earnings. The company lost $163 million in the third quarter, 42 percent less than a year earlier but had positive adjusted cash flow of $100 million.

The company’s stock price dropped 5 percent to $55.80 on Thursday, still up almost 70 percent this year but down from more than $339 per share in June 2021.


Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him @ampressman.