PetSmart is Laying off Dozens of Employees at Phoenix HQ
America’s largest specialty retailer of pet food, supplies and grooming services, PetSmart, Inc., is laying off employees at its corporate headquarters.
The Arizona-based retailer is downsizing its workforce at its headquarters in Phoenix. The company did not give a formal number, although management has confirmed that less than five percent of the workforce will be laid off.
The company is reported to have roughly 3,500 employees in Arizona, at the Phoenix headquarters and at other locations within the state. In total in 2016, PetSmart employed nearly 53,000 employees, most within the United States.
The last time PetSmart laid off a significant number of employees was back in 2015. The year before that, the company cut 176 jobs, including management-level positions.
PetSmart Moving Online as Brick-and-Mortar Sales Decline
The latest round of layoffs comes on the heels of a company-wide restructuring effort, whereby PetSmart is positioning itself against the competitive threat of online retailers.
PetSmart’s story has been no different than other American retailers. The rise of online shopping is hurting sales at brick-and-mortar retail companies, some of which are left with no choice but to close down underperforming stores and lay off workers. Worse yet; many are filing for bankruptcy protection in order to ward off creditors as debt continues to pile up.
Earlier this year, PetSmart’s biggest competitor, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., cut 180 jobs in a strategic move as it shifted some of its business focus online.
Nonetheless, PetSmart is moving fast into the digital space to cater to the needs of online shoppers. To that end, the company has recently acquired a web site for online pet-food shopping, namely chewy.com.
PetSmart sent out an e-mail statement to The Arizona Republic following the layoffs, stating that the company is making an effort to achieve the status of America’s “leading online and brick and mortar pet specialty retailer.” (Source: The Arizona Republic, op cit.)
PetSmart is currently Arizona’s largest privately-owned company, with 55 stores in the state alone. The company was publicly traded up until March 2015, when it was bought out by private equity firm BC Partners.
More layoffs at PetSmart’s underperforming brick-and-mortar locations may be imminent as the company shifts more of its business online.
“PetSmart plans job cuts at Phoenix headquarters, ” The Arizona Republic, June 6, 2017.
“Petco cutting 180 jobs,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 11, 2017.