REI Announces Corporate Layoffs
Amid "increasing uncertainty" and an effort to "grow the co-op over the long term," REI Co-op laid off 167 employees this week. CEO Eric Artz noted that REI has made changes at its headquarters to refocus resources in an effort to reach its 2023 goals, including "getting back to profitability as quickly as possible." This included reorganizing and combining several divisions within the headquarters and laying off 167 employees, which the co-op said is approximately 8 percent of the headquarters workforce and less than 1 percent of the total workforce.
Total Retail's Take: We're beginning to see more companies being proactive in downsizing labor forces amid the uncertainty of the retail and consumer landscape. REI joins Wayfair, Foot Locker, and Stitch Fix in announcing job cuts since the start of the year. While REI's most recently reported financial data offered a seemingly positive outlook, with sales up 36 percent in 2021 and net income of $97.7 million, the co-op's actions show it's worried about rising costs and maintaining its level of profitability. Job cuts will save REI money, which will be important as the co-op hedges against slowing sales in a challenged spending environment.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.