Wesfarmers has laid off 100 staff in its e-commerce division Catch Group this week, with key departments impacted including marketing, product and technology, and finance.
“Like many e-commerce brands, Catch has made the difficult decision to reduce its workforce as the business adjusts to changes in online demand that has occurred following the Covid period,” a spokesperson told Inside Retail. “We want to be as efficient as possible to drive value for our customers.”
The company said it is looking to redeploy as many as possible of the impacted workers at other divisions of the group.
“Treating people with respect is our number one priority and we are providing counselling and outplacement support to impacted team members.”
Inside Retail has learned from multiple sources staff lost their jobs this week, with the payrolls of some departments said to be cut by as much as 30 per cent. The redundancies began on Monday. Some roles in the Philippines where Catch has a sourcing and compliance arm, are also believed to be affected.
Amid a media blackout ahead of Wesfarmers’ results announcement due on February 15, the company said it would not comment further on the redundancies, however, more details would be released during its results presentation.
The job cuts come just three weeks after Catch’s chief product and technology officer Tomas Varsavsky left the company after two years. A week ago, Chris Burns, Catch’s head of transportation, finished up after a year at Catch to take up a new role as program lead – director supply chain at Grant Thornton.
Catch Group was acquired by Wesfarmers in 2019 for $230 million. The business recorded a pre-tax tax loss of $44 million during the six months to December 31 2021, with gross transaction value increasing by just 1 per cent, despite the online shopping boom fuelled by the pandemic.
In July last year, the company appointed Brendan Sweeney as the new MD of operations. A former Cotton On executive, he took up the role last October.