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Online furniture retailer Wayfair cuts 3% of workforce, stock skids


A Wayfair employee works at his desk at the Boston headquarters of Wayfair on July 31, 2018.

Suzanne Kreiter | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Wayfair is cutting about 3% of its workforce, or roughly 500 jobs, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The online furniture retailer, which has more than 17,000 employees globally, said those affected include about 350 people at corporate headquarters in Boston.

Wayfair shares fell more than 13% Thursday. The stock has tumbled a little more than 24% in the past 12 months. Wayfair has a market value of about $8.2 billion.

“We continually evaluate the needs of the business and work to increase efficiencies while aligning our teams with the initiatives that drive the greatest impact for our customers,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “We remain as confident as ever in Wayfair’s future.”

Wayfair went public in October 2014.

The company has yet to report a profit, and its quarterly losses have only mounted over the years. Until recently, it was still bulking up its hiring efforts, even with widening losses.

Wayfair has been criticized for the high costs to run its business. It ships items like sofas and coffee tables, which can be expensive — even more so if it the merchandise is returned. The company’s spending on marketing, advertising and customer service has also been called into question. And Wayfair must compete with the likes of Amazon, Crate & Barrel and Ikea, among others, in the furniture category.

Wayfair is set to report fourth-quarter earnings, which include the holiday season, on Feb. 28.

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