Shopify is the latest victim of a changing economy, with the company revealing it is laying off roughly 1,000 employees.
Shopify, like many companies, experienced something of a boom during the early days of the pandemic, as people stayed at home and shopped online. As CEO Tobi Lütke explains, the company bet the surge would permanently alter the industry:
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.
Unfortunately for the company, as things returned to normal online shopping also began to dip.
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.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the layoffs will impact 10% of the company’s staff or roughly 1,000 employees.