Arrow-right Camera

Business

Spokane-based etailz Inc. announces layoffs

Thu., Dec. 15, 2016, 3:39 p.m.

Founder and CEO Josh Neblett poses for a photo at the headquarters of Etailz in the McKinstry building. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Founder and CEO Josh Neblett poses for a photo at the headquarters of Etailz in the McKinstry building. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane-based etailz Inc. is laying off 8 percent of its employees under a restructuring, the company said Thursday.

The news follows the recent $75 million sale of the e-commerce and marketing company to Trans World Entertainment Corp., a New York-based retailer specializing in video, music, pop culture and electronics products.

The downsizing is unrelated to the acquisition by Trans World, etailz said Thursday.

“Etailz recently underwent a strategic internal restructure which resulted in the company reducing its workforce by 8 percent,” the company said in a statement. “We made this difficult decision in order to better align our company with our long-term goals.”

Etailz has about 190 employees at the company headquarters in the McKinstry Innovation Center along the Spokane River, in a warehouse in the Spokane Business and Industrial Park and at the Wollnick’s retail store downtown.

“The employees impacted have received competitive severance packages as well as additional job placement resources,” etailz said.

“This was not a decision made lightly and we remain dedicated to maintaining our company culture and pursuing our goal in becoming the leader in marketplace sales and expertise,” the statement said.

The business has grown rapidly in the eight years since CEO Josh Neblett launched it with Sarah Wollnick, now his wife, and Gonzaga University adjunct professor Tom Simpson, their angel investor.

As Gonzaga students, Neblett and Wollnick won the school’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Business Plan Competition in 2008 with their pitch for what then was called Green Cupboards, an online seller of eco-friendly products.

In an email to employees this week, Neblett said they should not feel uncertainty about the company’s future.

“Our vision and goals for etailz remains unchanged, we will continue to grow at exciting and exponential rates, … we will be the undisputed leader in marketplace sales and expertise, and we will do it all with the same emphasis on people and culture that got us here,” he said.



Click here to comment on this story »