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Nov 13, 2018

Blue Apron cuts 4% of jobs in profitability bid

Vegetables from a Blue Apron Holdings Inc. meal-kit delivery are arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Blue Apron Holdings Inc. filed for an initial public offering in the U.S., after reportedly delaying listing preparations while it worked to improve financials.

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Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (APRN.N) said it will eliminate about 4 per cent of its workforce as the meal-kit maker tries to make a profit.

The staff cuts will cost about US$1.6 million in the fourth quarter, but save roughly US$16 million in 2019, the New York-based company said. As of June 30, Blue Apron had 3,281 full-time employees. A spokeswoman said the cuts affect about 100 workers in corporate headquarters and fulfillment centers. She declined to be more specific.

The stock fell as much as 4.9 per cent in extended trading. The company has lost about two-thirds of its market value this year.

Blue Apron was a pioneer of the at-home meal kit market, but an ill-timed initial public offering, which coincided with Amazon.com Inc.’s purchase of Whole Foods, caused the company’s stock to plummet. Blue Apron has also faced problems with fulfillment center delays.

“The ways in which consumers access meals for various occasions has evolved rapidly with expanded choice and the continued convergence of online platforms and brick and mortar stores," Chief Executive Officer Brad Dickerson said in a statement. "As a result of these actions now underway, we expect to be profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis in 2019."