There are many well-known businesses and retailers that are based in Florida. Examples are Publix, Bealls, and Southeastern Grocers, to name just a few examples.
Unfortunately, recently, a couple of Florida-based companies have announced or confirmed layoffs. One example was the clothing retailer Venus Fashion, which is laying off over 100 employees in its Jacksonville facilities.
However, there is another example that is a little better known and arguably beloved because of its target audience - pet owners.
Chewy's Florida History: In February of 2017, then-Florida Governor Rick Scott announced a new Chewy fulfillment center in Ocala that would reportedly create 600 jobs. Chewy is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, and Boston.
Later that year, PetSmart acquired Chewy, although Chewy continued to operate as an independent subsidiary.
In the fall of 2020, PetSmart announced plans to sell its Chewy shares.
The Layoffs Begin: According to the South Florida Business Journal, in the spring of 2023, Chewy closed two fulfillment centers - one in Pennsylvania and one in Nevada - because the company turned more toward automation.
And now, in November of 2023, Chewy has confirmed layoffs. According to Tech Crunch, the company has laid off over 200 employees, including some employees at the Plantation, Florida headquarters.
Chewy spokesperson Diane Pelkey explained, in part:
"...This was a difficult decision that was carefully considered as part of our overall strategy and ongoing focus on becoming an ever more agile and disciplined company..."
Falling Stock Price: In September of 2023, Chewy stock shares plunged around 20%, in part due to concerns about a lessening in discretionary spending of consumers and speculation that Chewy wasn't attracting enough new customers, according to The Motley Fool.
Florida's Alleged "Most Loved" Consumer Brand: Although many Floridians are partial to Florida companies like Publix and Outback Steakhouse, OnDeck looked at the "sentiment analysis" of different brands using positive tweets for each brand.
Chewy was named Florida's "most loved" consumer brand because nearly 67% of tweets analyzed were positive.
Reviews From Those Working At Chewy: Employees give Chewy 3.5 out of 5 stars on Niche. Experiences seemed to depend upon the job being performed. Some felt that training came too fast, but many agreed that Chewy had excellent benefits and a good work/life balance. Here is a sample of a good review:
"As part of the corporate team I have had some great experiences. My bosses give a lot of autonomy and expect (me) to take ownership. Chewy also has amazing benefits and strives to uplift team members and make them feel appreciated..."
The author is not affiliated with Chewy or any other retailers.