Shopify Lays Off 10% of its Workforce as Online Demand Dwindles

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(Lead image via David Kawai/Bloomberg)

Shopify is laying off 10% of its workforce, as initially reported by Footwear News.

The tech company is the backbone of some of the largest retailers in sneakers including Concepts, Kith, Sneaker Politics, and others. Its Shopify+ program is renowned for its anti-bot protection, which helps retailers on release day for massive drops — most often coveted collaborations, including Union, A Ma Maniére, and more.

On July 26, Shopify CEO and co-founder Tobi Lütke announced that the company would lay off 10% of its staff as e-commerce has slowed down after the high-demand due to the pandemic. The impacted departments include recruiting, support, and sales.

Before the pandemic, e-commerce 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 e-commerce 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.

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. Ultimately, placing this bet was my call to make, and I got this wrong.

Now, we have to adjust.

Tobi Lütke, via Footwear News

Laid off employees will reportedly receive 16 weeks of severance pay and an additional week for every year of tenure at Shopify.

The Shopify layoffs are the latest within the sneaker/e-commerce space as StockX laid off 8% of its employees weeks ago.

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