Lincoln e-commerce company Spreetail cut more than 100 jobs Wednesday as it announced it is returning its focus to its inventory and fulfillment businesses.
CEO Brett Thome said in an email that as part of that change in focus, it is de-emphasizing its direct e-commerce and private brand businesses, which resulted in 86 layoffs in Texas -- most of those in its Austin office, which just opened last fall. There also were 22 job cuts in Nebraska, most or all of those in Lincoln.
The company, which got its start more than a decade ago as a seller of refurbished computers, has grown rapidly over the past few years, adding hundreds of employees. It renamed itself Spreetail in 2015 and in April debuted a new e-commerce site called spreetail.com.
Spreetail had opened the Austin office to take advantage of local talent as it ramped up its digital marketing efforts and pushed to debut a new e-commerce site.
Thome said that website will not be shutting down and there will be a small team focused on it going forward.
"Our vendors love it," he said.
In addition to selling home and garden products on its own website, Spreetail also sells through other websites such as eBay and Amazon, and it also provides fulfillment and logistics services to other companies and brands.
The company opened its seventh fulfillment center last month.
“The inventory and fulfillment portion of our business has continued its acceleration, so we are focusing our investment there. In inventory and fulfillment, we have grown our vendor network from 255 to over 700 and increased the number of employees from 260 to a current number of over 600 since the beginning of 2018," Thome said. "No changes happened on that team, and we continue to have many open roles and are actively seeking candidates in Lincoln, Omaha and Austin.”
Spreetail's website lists 40 current job openings, about half of which are in Lincoln.
Thome called the layoffs a "difficult decision," and said those losing their jobs will receive severance.