How Shopify’s pandemic bet led to losses and layoffs

Front Burner

29-07-2022 • 18 mins


This week, days before a call to investors that announced net losses and a “transitional” period for the company, Canadian tech giant Shopify laid off 1,000 employees – 10 per cent of its workforce. Not long ago, Shopify’s numbers told a very different story. The online shopping juggernaut hit it big during the pandemic, at one point becoming the most highly valued company in Canada, with a market cap of $177 billion. CEO Tobias Lütke announced this week that during the pandemic the company made a bet – that online shopping would “permanently leap ahead” by years – and hired accordingly to meet the growing demand. “It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off,” he said. To break down where the company goes now – and what this says about the tech industry more broadly – Temur Durrani joins us from the Globe and Mail.