Updated: Article is laying off 200+ people amid tech sector turmoil
The cuts impact 17 percent of its workforce.
Update: Thursday, August 4, 2:50 p.m.
Article, the e-commerce company known for its stylish furniture, is laying off 216 employees. The cuts impact 17 percent of Article’s workforce across all of its teams. The announcement was made by CEO Aamir Baig at an all-hands meeting around 10:00 a.m. today.
Vancouver Tech Journal broke the news earlier this afternoon; however, a spokesperson did not release a formal statement confirming the staff reductions until just after 2:00 p.m. At that time, the organization also shared a letter that Baig sent to employees after a company-wide meeting this morning.
In the letter, Baig explains that because pandemic-induced online purchasing trends have not continued as projected, Article was operating “at a size larger than current demand would sustain.” He said the company was living beyond its means and that he “needed to resize our business to restore our position of financial strength.”
In terms of which employees were let go and which kept their jobs, Baig wrote that the priority was to “maintain service levels for our customers and those areas of the business that are most impactful to our future growth. It’s important to recognize that the decisions of who we are parting with were not a reflection of the quality of their work: unfortunately, we’re losing some excellent people today.”
Baig wrote that outgoing employees will receive the “resources and severance to support their forward journeys,” benefits would be extended, and they are able to keep equipment like laptops.
“To Particles who are leaving,” the CEO wrote, “I want you to know that this isn’t a reflection of your capabilities or performance: we’re parting ways with exceptional people today who helped build this company, and other organizations will be lucky to have you.”
Original story: Thursday, August 4, 12:40 p.m.
Article, the e-commerce company known for its stylish furniture, is laying off approximately 217 employees, Vancouver Tech Journal has learned.
The cuts impact 17 percent of Article’s workforce across all of its teams, according to multiple sources close to the company. The announcement was made by CEO Aamir Baig at an all-hands meeting around 10:00 a.m. today. Company spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are verified.
The news comes as the global tech sector reacts to market turbulence and businesses prepare for a predicted recession. The cuts also come a day after Unbounce, another notable local firm, reduced its headcount by 20 percent, laying off nearly 50 employees.
The position Article finds itself in today is a far cry from December of 2021 when Vancouver Tech Journal reported that it was poised for an initial public offering after navigating its biggest months ever. The nine-year-old business executed 40 percent of its total orders in 2020 alone and reached its one-millionth order in 2021.
As the world locked down and individuals, stuck at home, decided they should upgrade their surroundings, Article’s business took off. “We were the beneficiaries of this massive swing to e-commerce in general,” Duncan Blair, Article’s senior vice president of marketing, explained to Vancouver Tech Journal last year.
As recently as March 2022, the company reported 45 percent year-over-year growth. Yet despite explosive COVID-driven gains over the past two years, the company is bracing itself for oncoming headwinds, which have already affected sales. “[The] retail market has dived lately, putting us in this position," summarized a former Article employee that was laid off today, who asked to remain anonymous.
Article is among many well-known Canadian businesses managing costs either by slowing hiring or laying off workers in the face of economic uncertainty. In the past two months alone, Wealthsimple, Shopify, Clearco, and Coinsquare have all downsized their employee base.
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