Etsy slashes almost a quarter of its staff in attempt to refocus

The company's CEO says Etsy needs to refocus on its "core marketplace."
Nathan Ingraham
N. Ingraham|06.21.17

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Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Etsy is widely recognized as perhaps the premiere place online to go for handmade goods from sellers big and small. But despite the company's ubiquity and influence, Etsy may have taken on too many projects that aren't relevant to its core business. To that end, CEO Josh Silverman announced this morning that Etsy was laying off 15 percent of its workforce. That's in addition to layoffs that were announced in early May; the total workforce reduction comes in at 22 percent, or about 230 employees.

Silverman said the layoffs were part of an effort to focus on Etsy's "vital few initiatives," though he didn't specify exactly what parts of the company were being a drag. The only indication was that the company would focus on its "core marketplace." However, Etsy has launched plenty of things in the past few years that stray from what the company is best known for, including local shopping guides to find sellers IRL as well as an online shop for crafting supplies (rather than crafts themselves).

The fact that Amazon, eater of worlds, has also gotten into the handmade crafts business over the last few years also cannot be ignored. The experience of using Etsy likely isn't changing any time soon for sellers or buyers, but a renewed focus on what the company does best might help it through the challenges that led it to make these cuts in the first place.

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