Personalized photo products leader Shutterfly Inc. management is reducing staff by 360 employees, according to a company-wide email. The announcement was not made public but the topic is a hot one on LinkedIn and on layoff tracking sites. The Dead Pixels Society has reached out to Shutterfly for comment but has yet to receive a response.
[Update: The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports 97 of the laid-off workers are at its Shakopee, Minn., warehouse: “In a letter to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development this week, Shutterfly legal director Lisa Bale said the company plans to transfer its photo books production and gifting operations from Shakopee to other facilities and eliminate certain positions that support Shutterfly operations.”
The staff reductions, which are permanent, will be effective at the end of March. The Shakopee facility is not closing, Bale said in the letter.]
The staff reduction is the latest within a year for the San Jose, Calif.-based company, which reduced headcount by about 800 last year, as the company still seems to struggling to gain its footing after digesting Lifetouch National School Studios in 2018 and going private in 2020. A Bloomberg report leaked earlier estimated the company lost $35-$45 million in the third quarter last year.
As of now, the impacted areas of the layoff notices are yet to be made public but insiders contend the Lifetouch business – which has already seen targeted staff reductions for years – is a likely recipient. Posts on the Layoff site indicate many of the workers are disappointed with the severance offered; an example: “The longer you’ve been with the company, the more insulting the severance package. I’ll be lucky if my severance lasts me a month.”
In a recent interview, Shutterfly CEO Hilary Schneider told the Associated Press there were “choppy times” ahead.
In the announcement, Schneider stated, despite a growth plan designed to capitalize on positive post-pandemic trends, lackluster consumer spending in the second and third quarters couldn’t overcome rising costs and lower margins.
Tech layoff trends
Tech layoffs are in the headlines, as companies in several product categories are reducing staff in response to market conditions and in anticipation of a slowing economy this year.
Layoff announcements began in the second half of 2022 and accelerating, encompassing some of the biggest names in tech, like Amazon (18,000 employees), Carvana (2,500), Lyft (700), Spotify (600), Meta, Microsoft (10,000), Google (12,000), Shopify (1,000) and Twitter.
More than 216,000 tech employees have been laid off since the start of 2022, according to Layoffs.fyi, a site that tracks job cuts.