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Layoffs At Wayfair Continue Company's Fall Back To Earth

A person shopping at the Wayfair retail website. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A person shopping at the Wayfair retail website. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

News that Wayfair is laying off hundreds of workers sent the Boston furniture retailer's stock price down about 10% Thursday, extending a decline that has halved share values over the past year.

The layoffs, first reported by the Boston Globe, affect 550 people worldwide, including 350 at Wayfair's Back Bay headquarters. The cut amounts to roughly 3% of Wayfair's global workforce.

Through a spokeswoman, Chief Executive Niraj Shah declined an interview request.

One of Boston's startup darlings of the past decade, Wayfair raised $358 million in venture capital, according to Crunchbase, enabling rapid expansion of its online homegoods marketplace. The company went public in 2014.

Like many technology-oriented firms, Wayfair has emphasized growth over profits. It's a model that worked for the likes of Amazon and Facebook, both of which lost money for years as they scaled up, before eventually yielding returns.

Recently, however, many investors have grown impatient with companies that remain in the red for prolonged stretches, despite revenue and customer growth.

Wayfair posted a net loss of $654.4 million through the first three quarters of 2019. The company will report fourth-quarter and year-end results later this month.

Related:

Callum Borchers Twitter Reporter
Callum covers the Greater Boston business community for Bostonomix.

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