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San Francisco e-commerce company Wish announces job cuts

Shoppers walk around Union Square in San Francisco on May 13, 2023. | Source: Jason Henry/The Standard

Another e-commerce company that once thrived during the pandemic boom in online shopping has announced more job cuts—the third such announcement since January 2022.

San Francisco-based online retailer Wish will slash its global workforce by 34%, or 255 employees. The layoffs will affect 160 workers based in the U.S., according to a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It is unclear how many affected employees work in San Francisco.

The filing, signed by CEO Joe Yan, stated Wish initiated layoffs to “refocus the company’s operations to support its ongoing business prioritization efforts, better align resources, and improve operational efficiencies.”

A spokesperson told The Standard that Wish will share more details about the layoffs in a Thursday meeting.

People walk by retail stores along Market Street in San Francisco on July 29, 2011. | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

E-commerce companies became wildly popular during the pandemic as shopping moved online. Wish, founded in 2010 as a platform that connects sellers and buyers, went public in 2020 and was marketed toward the “value-conscious consumer.”

Yet in recent months, many e-commerce and retail companies have announced layoffs and cost-cutting. Wish’s latest announcement marks the third round of layoffs the company has initiated since 2022, and its stock price has fallen over 99% since going public in December 2020.

Other retail and e-commerce giants have also flailed amid shifting economic headwinds, including Amazon, which laid off over 100 of its San Francisco employees in January.

An Amazon Go automated retail store, pictured on June 14, 2021, was located on Battery Street in Downtown San Francisco. | Source: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Nonetheless, the overall number of layoffs appears to be declining after a brutal year for the Bay Area’s tech-heavy economy. San Francisco companies laid off over 12,000 employees in January, a figure driven mainly by Salesforce’s decision to cut 8,000 employees that month. Yet layoffs have steadily slowed since then, with July reporting 1,178 layoffs. 

Salesforce also announced plans to lay off even more employees, according to Bloomberg. The layoffs will primarily affect sales and customer service workers in Ireland. 

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Other notable downsizing announcements have come from Planet, an aerospace company that provides satellite imagery, and digital mental health company, which will cut 19 San Francisco-based employees, per a WARN notice. The layoffs are part of a downsizing plan announced by Headspace—’s parent company—in June. It marks the company’s second round of layoffs in less than a year.

“With the privilege of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of millions of people around the world also comes great responsibility to focus on the health of our business and safeguard it for the future,” a Headspace spokesperson said in a statement.

See The Standard’s layoff tracker below for the most recent updates.