Employment Law

Online furniture company Article cuts 17% of staff amid e-commerce slowdown

Online furniture company Article cuts 17% of staff amid e-commerce slowdown

As demand for e-commerce continues to slow, another Canadian tech company has announced significant layoffs. Vancouver-based online furniture chain Article is cutting 17 per cent of its workforce.

In a note to staff on August 5, 2022, co-founder and CEO Aamir Baig said the cuts are a first in the company’s 11-year history.

“Like many e-commerce companies, we benefited tremendously from the demand increase from COVID. We anticipated the trend to online purchasing would be sustained – that did not happen, and it has since returned to pre-COVID trends,” Baig said.

“As a result, our financial projections showed that we were operating the business at a size larger than current demand would sustain. Put simply, we were living beyond our means. I needed to resize our business to restore our position of financial strength.”

Article did not disclose details on the roles and locations of the 216 employees that are being laid off. It’s important to recognize that the decisions of who we are parting with were not a reflection of the quality of their work: unfortunately, we’re losing some excellent people,” Baig added.

Since launching in 2013, Article claims on its website that it has delivered quality furniture to more than half a million homes and businesses across North America.

Termination agreements for Article employees

As part of the layoff announcement, Article said that affected employees will receive:

  • Severance pay
  • Extended benefits, including access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Access to useful tools and resources

Additionally, those leaving the company will also be able to keep their equipment (i.e. laptops).

LISTEN: Alex Lucifero, an Ottawa employment lawyer and Managing Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, spoke with Matt Harris on Newstalk 580 CFRA about the rights employees have when companies announce mass layoffs.

Employees and senior executives at Article are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing or corporate restructuring. Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract. We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair, and how to get proper compensation if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you aren’t given the full amount (which happens often) you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

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