Blue Apron feelin’ blue, lays off hundreds of workers

Capping off what has been a rough few months for Blue Apron, the meal delivery kit company says it’s laying off 6 percent of its staff — a cut that likely will cost hundreds of workers their jobs.

The layoffs will affect workers in Blue Apron’s corporate offices and fulfillment centers. The New York-based company reported employing 5,393 workers in June, meaning a 6 percent cut would impact 324 jobs.

Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg commented on the layoffs Wednesday in a letter to employees, a copy of which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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In the letter, Salzberg called Wednesday a “difficult day for our entire organization.”

“What makes this decision especially difficult was that we parted ways with many dedicated and talented colleagues, as well as friends whom we care deeply about,” he wrote. “I want to thank them for their numerous contributions over the years, and wish them the best going forward. It was particularly important to us that we show this respect and appreciation with meaningful severance packages and ongoing job placement support, which we are in the process of providing.”

Salzberg wrote he plans to host a Q&A session shortly, and encouraged employees to email him with questions or visit him during his office hours.

“We have accomplished so much together over the past five years, and no words can adequately describe my appreciation for the work you do each day,” he wrote. “I’m confident that the changes we made today will make our organization stronger and help us continue to improve the lives of our customers across the country. I believe in where we are going, and I believe in our team’s ability to get there together.”

Blue Apron has struggled in recent months. The company disappointed with its $300 million initial public offering in June — its stock flatlined in its first day of trading, and on Thursday, was trading at barely more than half its IPO price.

In August the company revealed plans to close a facility in New Jersey where it put together and shipped its ready-to-cook meal kits — a move that forced 1,270 employees to transfer locations or lose their jobs. Later that month, Blue Apron lost its top human resources executive, temporarily froze hiring and fired part of its recruiting team.

Last year Blue Apron faced scrutiny over the working conditions in its Richmond food-production hub, with workers complaining of violence, workplace-safety violations and harried work conditions.

Photo: A box of food from meal delivery kit company Blue Apron. (Courtesy of Blue Apron)




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