Labor

Retailers are rethinking and restructuring their workforce

With layoffs en route, retailers return to the drawing board
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Labor is top of mind for retailers as inflation, inventory woes, and fears of a recession have forced them to rethink their workforces.

DTC shoe brand Allbirds laid off 23 employees, or 8% of its global workforce, toward the end of last month after looking at “roles and processes in each department,” the company told Retail Dive. Allbirds says it wants to streamline roles in preparation for its move into wholesale.

  • Fellow DTC darling Warby Parker announced it slashed 63 corporate roles ahead of its Q2 earnings report. “We are making these changes to enable us to operate in a more focused and nimble manner,” the company said in a statement to Insider.

But layoffs are affecting major legacy brands, too:

  • Walmart recently said it’s cutting 200 corporate roles, after issuing a profit warning to investors; it’s separately hiring in e-commerce, advertising, and supply chain.
  • Victoria’s Secret quietly laid off 160 management executives, which will (allegedly) save the company about $40 million annually.
  • Other major companies paring down workforces include Sweetgreen, Shopify, Beyond Meat, StockX, Glossier, and Gamestop.

The July jobs report revealed that 528,000 roles were added last month—including 22,000 retail positions. It’s not all bad news; there are now 208,000 more retail jobs than there were in February 2020.—KM

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