Stitch Fix is changing the way it employs stylists, as it plans to sunset full-time roles at the end of the first quarter, the company confirmed to WWD via email.
According to a spokesperson, the move, which takes effect on March 31, is part of a strategy to “evolve our business to ensure we are delivering the most innovative, personalized and convenient online styling experience” by implementing changes to the organization. As a point of clarity, the staffing reduction doesn’t completely eliminate roles for human stylists; Stitch Fix is simply shifting to a part-time-only employment model that apparently fits the way stylists already work, suggests the representative.
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“The majority of our stylists work part-time, from their homes, choosing a schedule that suits their lifestyles,” she said. “By moving to a fully part-time model we are able to maintain this level of flexibility, while effectively meeting the needs of our clients and our business.”
The broader context, however, is that until recently, the company had been struggling to regain its footing after a series of down quarters, which drove deep changes in the organization. Previous purges included more than 800 stylists between July 2022 and July 2023, as well as executive shake-ups — including the appointment of Matt Baer as the new chief executive officer last year — exit from the U.K. market, a reduction in brand partners and the scrapping of warehouse expansion plans.
The belt-tightening strategy worked, insofar as the latest quarter reported in December brought revenue of $364.8 million, which finally beat estimates, and pull adjusted losses below expectations.
At the time, Baer indicated that the belt-tightening wasn’t over yet, and this latest move appears to be evidence of that.
The ranks of Stitch Fix stylists, which have always been a mix of full- and part-time workers, have been shrinking over the years. In 2020, the company employed 5,100. Two years later, it reported 3,430 stylists. Last year, its annual report in July listed 2,620 stylists.
The company has always prided itself on its mix of human and AI styling. Now the human component appears to be shrinking, suggesting this balance may tilt further into the tech side.
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