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Birchbox Lays Off 15% of Staff

Photo: Driely S.

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Birchbox, like so many of us, apparently had New Year's resolutions to slim down heading into 2016. Pando reports that the company has laid off 15% of its staff and will no longer offer its service in Canada.

Pando cites Birchbox's reluctance to take on big investors and grow quickly as one of the main reasons for the layoffs. Birchbox has long avoided the temptation of huge investors, opting rather to grow conservatively and strategically over the years.

"It's 100% the right decision for the company," Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp tells Pando. "The way I rationalized it is there is no great company that hasn't had to go through something like this."

Despite the layoffs, Beauchamp says she does not regret passing up on the opportunity to raise more money from investors. "No," she says. "I'm really proud we've built such an incredible and large company efficiently. This is a really important part of our story and our journey. No regrets."

Beauchamp does say that Birchbox will be rolling out more physical locations — adding to the existing retail shops in New York and Washington DC. Pando reports that the locations may be a surprise to consumers, but it will happen "where their data tells them there's a big Birchbox following."

The decision to suspend operations in Canada is due to steep shipping prices to the country, Beauchamp says.

You can read the full statement from Beauchamp regarding the layoffs below:

Today I made the difficult decision to lay off 15% of our staff. In five years, we have built an immensely successful business and achieved rapid growth - and these people helped create Birchbox as we know it. They are our friends and we will always be grateful for their invaluable contributions. But we have learned a tremendous amount about what we need to do to win in the beauty category. The cuts made today will allow us to reinvest in our biggest opportunities and grow even more quickly in the future. We have a clear understanding of how we can streamline our efforts and operate more efficiently.
Our vision for Birchbox has always been to build a standalone company, and today's market demands that we reach profitability this year. We're laser-focused on our customer experience and continuing our mission to change the way people discover and shop for beauty. We are hitting all of our growth goals and expect to nearly double our full-size sales, while still experiencing significant growth in subscriptions in 2016. We will do this as a leaner, stronger and more resolved company.
For all those impacted in this reduction there is no thank you that can properly convey the depth of my gratitude. We will work harder than ever to honor everything you have accomplished here at Birchbox.