Amazon will continue to send business to unemployment offices across the company as it plans on laying off another 9,000 employees, bringing the total casualty count to 27,000 since the start of the year.
Back in January, the delivery company set a personal record with 18,000 layoffs at one time. The dark milestone hit Amazon’s grocery sector particularly hard, as a number of the pink slips were issued to those linked to Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh. The move to shed 9,000 jobs would be the second highest in Amazon’s history.
CEO Andy Jassy informed the workforce by memo on March 20, and said the move was a byproduct of the company’s second phase of an annual planning process.
“Some may ask why we didn’t announce these role reductions with the ones we announced a couple of months ago,” Jassy remarked in the memo. “The short answer is not all of the teams were done with their analyses in the late fall; and rather than rush through these assessments without the appropriate diligence, we chose to share these decisions as we’ve made them so people had the information as soon as possible.”
Staffing doubled at Amazon during the pandemic as more people were ordering online while under quarantine, but the tech sector in the U.S. has been cutting back over the last few months. In early March Amazon made the announcement that it was pausing construction on a new headquarters building in northern Virginia. Warehouse construction also is slowing.
Amazon also announced that it would permanently close eight of its Amazon Go convenience stores — including two in Seattle.
“Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions along the way,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We remain committed to the Amazon Go format, operate more than 20 Amazon Go stores across the U.S., and will continue to learn which locations and features resonate most with customers as we keep evolving our Amazon Go stores.”
The was part of the Seattle-based tech giant’s attempt to pull back on some of its brick-and-mortar retail operations. In February, Amazon said it was pausing the rollout of its Amazon Fresh retail stores while it re-evaluated the concept’s economics. Jassy also has said he expected 2023 to be the year that the ecommerce giant would come up with a viable retail grocery format.