Blue Apron Lays Off Over 300 Employees as Post-IPO Struggles Continue

The subscription meal service faced competition from Amazon and Whole Foods after a lavish initial public offering.

Blue Apron’s stock price has gone way down since the company went public in June. Sage Lazzaro for Observer

It’s been a tough year for Blue Apron (APRN).

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The subscription meal service went public on the New York Stock Exchange in June with a $1.9 billion valuation—its lavish IPO celebration included a lettuce wall. But the company’s stock price cratered after the Amazon-Whole Foods merger, and it’s even in danger of losing its unicorn status.

So in an effort to cut costs, Blue Apron is pruning its workforce.

The company revealed in a regulatory filing last night that it had laid off six percent of its staff.  The meal kit service employs nearly 5,400 people, which means about 320 jobs were cut.

The layoffs impacted Blue Apron’s corporate offices and shipping warehouses, as well as marketing, software development and operations staff its New York headquarters. The firm is expected to pay about $3.5 million in severance to affected employees.

“A company-wide realignment like the one we announced is always painful, and especially so for a close-knit team like ours,” Blue Apron founder and CEO Matt Salzberg said in a letter to employees. “I’m confident that the changes we made today will make our organization stronger, and help us continue to improve the lives of our customers across the country.”

Blue Apron stock was down slightly this morning as a result of the news—share prices have dropped nearly 50 percent since its IPO.

While Amazon (AMZN) and Whole Foods are developing their own meal kit service, they’re not the only players in this space—dozens of similar startups have popped up in recent years.

Some of these companies have high profile backing: Martha & Marley Spoon features recipes from Martha Stewart’s cookbook, while Plated recently joined forces with national grocery chain Albertsons to get its meals into 2,300 supermarkets.

Blue Apron Lays Off Over 300 Employees as Post-IPO Struggles Continue