After years of growth and hiring, Wayfair on Thursday announced layoffs that would impact 550 employees worldwide, including 350 at its Boston headquarters.
The Boston-based furniture and home decor company — which has its headquarters at the Copley Place mall — gave the news to its employees on Thursday through an email.
The company, which employs 17,000 people worldwide, said many of the layoffs would be at the Boston headquarters.
The email sent to the employees says Wayfair "recognized a critical need to more efficiently align our teams with the business priorities that most directly and significantly impact our customers."
"To position the organization to take advantage of the opportunity ahead, we continually evaluate the needs of the business and work to increase efficiencies while aligning our teams with the initiatives that drive the greatest impact for our customers. As part of that process, we have made some organizational changes that affect approximately three percent of our global workforce," read a statement from Wayfair Corporate Communication Manager John Costello.
Shares of Wayfair Inc. fell 10% to $86 Thursday afternoon. Its stock has fallen 28% in the last year.
Founded nearly 18 years ago, Wayfair has never made a profit. Although sales have risen as more people become comfortable buying sofas and rugs online, the company spends much of its revenue on shipping, advertising and other costs.
Boston Business Journal Managing Editor Don Seiffert said the number of layoffs is high, considering the company has been on a hiring blitz lately.
"To have 350 people in Boston at once is a pretty massive number," Seiffert said.
He added that the company has struggled with other issues in the last year like a walkout last summer when workers protested the company's bed sales to migrant detention camps.
"If there was one thing investors have complained about over the last year, they're spending a lot of money on marketing," Seiffert said.
The layoffs come just as the company expanded into a second office in Boston last summer.