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Glossier CEO says beauty startup has been ‘distracted’ and needs to cut jobs

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Glossier CEO says beauty startup has been ‘distracted’ and needs to cut jobs

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Glossier Inc., the online beauty startup that sought to disrupt the cosmetics counter, is cutting back on its tech ambitions.

The New York-based company is laying off more than a third of its workforce, including technology staff, according to an email to staff Wednesday. The company, valued at more than $1 billion by its backers, said it would focus on its core makeup and skincare business.

“Over the past two years, we have prioritized some strategic projects that have distracted us from the laser focus we needed to have on our core business: scaling our beauty brand,” wrote Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO, in the email. “We have also taken a lead on our hiring. These missteps are on me.

Ms. Weiss also wrote in the staff email that the company would outsource some aspects of its technology strategy.

A Glossier representative confirmed the layoffs and said more than 80 jobs had been cut. The layoffs were reported earlier by Modern Retail.

The layoffs come a week after Peloton Interactive Inc.

CEO John Foley told staff that the company’s previously announced cost-cutting review would likely lead to job losses. Peloton’s share price and earnings soared at the start of the pandemic along with orders, but its market value has since fallen.

Glossier, which launched in 2014 as an extension of beauty website Into the Gloss, has helped popularize minimalist makeup looks among Gen Z and millennial consumers.

Although it raised funds and gained notoriety as a direct-to-consumer online brand, it eventually explored opening physical locations while touting itself as a “digital beauty” company. ‘on board”.

Glossier had a store in the Soho section of New York that was closed along with other stores in 2020.


Photo:

Richard B. Levine/Zuma Press

In 2020, Glossier closed its stores and laid off all of its retail employees, who had already been laid off in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a return to physical retail, Glossier opened three stores in Seattle, Los Angeles and London in 2021.

Last July, Glossier raised $80 million in venture capital and said the product would help grow its business, which has more than 5 million customers worldwide.

Lone Pine Capital led the funding round, which valued Glossier at $1.8 billion, according to PitchBook data. Investors including Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital also participated in the round.

Write to Charity L. Scott at Charity.Scott@wsj.com

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Glossier CEO says beauty startup has been ‘distracted’ and needs to cut jobs

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