On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported that more than 300 jobs at Amazon-owned Zappos were quietly cut in January 2023 amid mass layoffs at the online retailer. According to a Zappos memo seen by The Journal, the shoe and clothing retailer cut about a fifth of its workforce last month.
According to the report that cited people with knowledge of the layoffs, some of the snipped off roles constituted customer service representatives. The job cuts were “ultimately made to ensure Zappos is set up to continue to provide an exceptional customer experience, long-term,” Laura Davis of Zappos told The Journal. They were part of the company’s regular business planning, she added.
Las Vegas-based Zappos, which operates independently of Amazon, was taken over for $1.2 billion by the retail giant in 2009. The Zappos layoffs come alongside the largest job cuts in Amazon’s history last month when it staid off more than 18,000 employees.
In a memo to the staff, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on January 4 told, that it was eliminating most roles in the Amazon Stores and People Experience and Technology Solutions divisions.
He said in the memo that it had “hired rapidly” in recent years but that this year’s review was “more difficult” because of the economic downturn.
Amazon-brand aggregator Boosted Commerce also made job cuts this month as it laid off 16 employees. A Boosted Commerce representative told media that 20% of its full-time staff based in the US were hugely impacted. The representative also said it was part of an effort to focus on its most successful target markets, such as wholesale retail brands.
Amazon and Zappos didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider. A Boosted Commerce representative told Insider that 20% of its full-time staff based in the US were affected. The representative also said it was part of an effort to focus on its most successful target markets, such as wholesale retail brands.
Zappos was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn and introduced under the domain name Shoesite.com. In July 2009, Amazon Inc acquired Zappos in an all-stock deal worth around $1.2 billion at the time. Amazon purchased all of the outstanding shares and warrants from Zappos for 10 million shares of Amazon’s common stock and provided $40 million in cash and restricted stock for the Zappos employees.
In July 1999, the company’s name was changed from ShoeSite to Zappos after “zapatos”, the Spanish word meaning “shoes”. The company was officially launched online in 1999 as “ShoeSite.com”