Peloton to cut 800 jobs, hike prices and shut stores
NEW YORK: Peloton Interactive Inc will embark on a sweeping overhaul that includes cutting nearly 800 jobs, raising prices for its Bike+ and Tread machines, and outsourcing functions such as equipment deliveries and customer service to outside companies.
The changes, which the company disclosed last Friday in a memo to employees, also include gradually closing many of its retail showrooms – a process that will get underway next year.
It’s the widest-ranging shake-up yet under chief executive officer Barry McCarthy, a tech veteran who took the helm in February.
Peloton is hoping to turn around a business that thrived during the early days of the pandemic but suffered a punishing slowdown in the past year.
Revenue is declining, losses are mounting, and the company’s stock price was down nearly 90% over the past 12 months. The latest moves are an attempt to reinvigorate sales, boost efficiency and restore some of Peloton’s former cachet.
“We have to make our revenues stop shrinking and start growing again,” McCarthy said in the memo provided to Bloomberg, adding that the changes are essential to making Peloton cash-flow positive again.
“Cash is oxygen. Oxygen is life.”
Investors applauded the moves, sending the shares up 14% to US$13.53 (RM60) in New York trading. It was the biggest one-day gain in more than three weeks.
In its third known set of layoffs this year, the company will fire 784 employees across its distribution and customer service teams.,
Peloton will stop using in-house employees and vans to deliver equipment and shutter 16 warehouses across North America.
Instead, it will rely on providers of third-party logistics, or 3PL, to set up bikes and treadmills at customer homes.
Peloton already uses third-party shipping companies JB Hunt Transport Services Inc and XPO Logistics Inc for some deliveries and will offload its remaining in-house distribution to those firms.
The company acknowledged that such a change might not be loved by all buyers, as some have complained that the third-party delivery services aren’t on par with Peloton’s own efforts.
“This has been a challenge,” McCarthy told employees.
“We won’t fix it overnight, but we have no choice but to make it work, so we’re leaning into it and proactively managing our 3PL relationships. We are confident in the plan we’ve put in place and we’re encouraged by the progress we’re making.”
Peloton is also cutting about half of its customer support team, which is mainly located in Tempe, Arizona, and Plano, Texas.
The company will use third-party firms to handle support requests as needed to augment the staff it is keeping.
“These expanded partnerships mean we can ensure we have the ability to scale up and down as volume fluctuates while still continuing to provide the level of service our members have come to expect,” McCarthy wrote.