Layoffs hit Ruggable, Kohl’s and REI in latest retail cuts

The cuts follow major layoffs across the tech and retail space, such as the elimination of 18,000 positions at Amazon.
A REI Co-op store.
  • More layoffs have hit the retail industry due to economic challenges and restructuring. 
  • Kohl’s cut about 60 staffers, Ruggable eliminated 100 and REI cut 167 staffers.
  • The latest cuts follow major layoffs at companies like Amazon and Meta.

More layoffs hit the retail industry, with major companies across sectors cutting staff in the face of economic uncertainty. The latest round of cuts hit Kohl’s, REI Co-op and Ruggable. The cuts follow major layoffs across the tech and retail space, like the elimination of 18,000 positions at Amazon and thousands more at tech giants like Meta and Alphabet.

Kohl’s cuts five-dozen workers at corporate headquarters

Kohl’s in late January eliminated about 60 employees at its corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. According to the report, impacted employees were notified on Jan. 25. The cuts primarily impacted roles on Kohl’s marketing and merchandising teams, according to a statement sent to Retail Leader from Jen Johson, senior vice president of corporate communications at Kohl’s.

"We put a great deal of planning into this decision and are offering a competitive severance package and out-placement services to all those affected,” Johnson said, according to the report. “We appreciate the many contributions of the impacted associates, and we thank them for their dedication and service to Kohl’s."

DTC brand Ruggable trims staff by 100 

Ruggable, a DTC brand known for its washable rugs, this week said it would cut its corporate staff by approximately 100. 

“On January 27th, we made the difficult decision to part ways with about 100 members of our global corporate team,” said a statement from Ruggable. “This outcome was driven by an internal restructuring to ensure our business will remain strongly positioned in today’s challenging economic environment. We are incredibly appreciative of our team’s contributions to Ruggable.”

Ruggable was founded more than a decade ago and sells its rugs directly to consumers through e-commerce. It has also partnered with known designers and artists, including Jonathan Adler and Monica Ahanonu. It’s the latest DTC retailer to be impacted by layoffs. Other similar companies that have recently cut staff include Warby Parker, Stitch Fix, Glossier and Allbirds.  

REI eliminates 8% of its corporate workforce

Eric Artz, the president and CEO of REI Co-op, in a note to employees on Jan. 31 announced that 167 positions — about 8% — of its total corporate workforce would be eliminated. 

"We have clear goals for the future of the co-op and are confident in our long-term strategies," Artz' message said. "But in the face of increasing uncertainty, we need to sharpen our focus on the most critical investments and areas of work to best serve our members and grow the Co-op over the long term. We will need to make hard choices, and that will be the work ahead for all of us."

Eligible full-time employees impacted by the cuts were offered a severance package, Artz said. Laid-off workers will also retain health care benefits for four months, be paid out vacation time, receive their 2022 bonuses and receive help with external job placement.