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Amazon to Layoff More Employees as It Navigates The Uncertain Economy

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Amazon

E-commerce giant Amazon has announced plans to lay off more of its workforce as it seeks to navigate the current uncertain economy.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy disclosed this in a company memo seen by Investors King. According to the memo, the layoffs would occur in the coming weeks and will mostly affect Amazon Web Services (AWS), People Experience and Technology Solutions (PXT), Advertising, and Twitch live streaming service group.

The memo reads,

“As we have just concluded the second phase of our operating plan (”OP2”) this past week, I’m writing to share that we intend to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks mostly in AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch. This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company in the long run. As part of our annual planning process, leaders across the company work with their teams to decide what investments they want to make for the future, prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses.

“For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount”.

Jassy further added that these role reductions were not announced with the ones that happened months ago, stating that some teams were not done with their analyses in the late fall, and rather than rush through assessments without the appropriate diligence, the company chose to share it latest decision with the team members to keep them updated on the recent happenings.

The recent job cuts at Amazon would mark the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history, adding to the 18,000 employees that were laid off in January.

Investors King understands that the e-commerce giant doubled its hiring during the covid-19 pandemic to meet demand from customers that were increasingly buying stuff from their online store following the lockdown restriction. But as the pandemic eased, there was a significant slowdown in demand which forced Amazon to pause its warehouse expansion.

Amazon’s latest second round of layoff follows a similar move by Facebook parent company Meta after the social media giant which is on a laying-off spree announced plans to cut extra 10,000 jobs this year and instituted a hiring freeze, having already announced 11,000 job cuts in November last year.

Following the incessant layoff of workers in the tech industry, reports disclose that tech firms laid off more than 150, 000 workers globally, with further 139,000 layoffs already announced in 2023.

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Jumia Plans Warehouse Consolidation in Lagos Amid Nigeria Focus

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Jumia - Investors King

Jumia Technologies AG, the Nasdaq-listed e-commerce giant, has unveiled plans to consolidate its warehouses in Nigeria.

This decision is part of the company’s broader strategy to prioritize Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation as it endeavors to turn profitable amidst challenging market conditions.

The consolidation initiative will see Jumia merging its three existing warehouses in Nigeria into a single expansive depot spanning 30,000 square meters, strategically located in Lagos.

Francis Dufay, CEO of Jumia, emphasized the cost-cutting benefits associated with this move, highlighting the company’s commitment to optimizing its operational efficiency.

Speaking about the rationale behind the consolidation, Dufay expressed confidence in Nigeria’s potential to provide Jumia with the scale needed to achieve profitability.

Despite facing headwinds such as currency fluctuations and a challenging economic environment, Jumia views Nigeria as a key market for growth, anticipating positive developments in the medium term.

Jumia’s decision to streamline its operations in Nigeria comes against the backdrop of its ongoing efforts to navigate the complexities of the e-commerce landscape.

Despite reporting an operating loss of $8.33 million in the first quarter of the year, the company remains optimistic about its prospects in Nigeria, where it continues to witness steady revenue growth.

The e-commerce giant’s commitment to Nigeria underscores its long-term vision and determination to succeed in the region.

With plans to expand its footprint to additional cities across the country, Jumia aims to capitalize on Nigeria’s vast market potential and consumer demand.

However, Jumia’s journey to profitability in Nigeria is not without its challenges. The country’s economic landscape has been marred by currency devaluations, infrastructural deficiencies, and logistical hurdles.

Yet, amidst these obstacles, Jumia remains resilient, banking on Nigeria’s economic revival efforts and policy reforms to fuel its growth trajectory.

As part of its strategy to adapt to evolving market dynamics, Jumia has introduced innovative initiatives such as buy-now-pay-later financing options to cater to customers grappling with rising prices.

Also, the company remains vigilant in monitoring pricing dynamics, ensuring competitive pricing to meet the needs of price-conscious consumers.

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Alibaba Eyes Gulf Expansion, Seeks Partnerships in Saudi and UAE Markets

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Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, is actively pursuing expansion into the Gulf region, notably in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, revealed the company’s strategy during a panel discussion at Dubai’s World Government Summit, highlighting a commitment to local partnerships as a key aspect of their approach.

Evans underscored Alibaba’s recent endeavors in Saudi Arabia, indicating a concerted effort to deepen its presence in the region’s burgeoning e-commerce landscape.

The move signifies Alibaba’s strategic pivot towards collaborative ventures following a period of strategic realignment prompted by government scrutiny and leadership changes.

The Gulf’s growing ties with China, driven by mutual economic interests and investment diversification initiatives, present an opportune moment for Alibaba’s expansion efforts.

However, geopolitical complexities, including heightened US scrutiny of China-linked entities, add a layer of challenge to Alibaba’s Gulf aspirations.

As Alibaba seeks to reclaim its leadership position in the global tech industry, the pursuit of partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the UAE underscores the company’s adaptive approach to international expansion.

The success of these ventures could potentially reshape the Gulf’s e-commerce landscape and deepen economic ties between the region and China.

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Shoprite Shuts Down Kano Branch Due to Financial Challenges and Unfavorable Business Climate

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Shoprite

Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, the owners of the renowned Shoprite Mall, announced the closure of its Kano branch, located in the Ado Bayero Mall, effective January 14, 2024.

The decision was conveyed through a circular signed by the supermarket’s management, attributing the shutdown to the current financial strain experienced by the mall in the state and the challenging business climate prevailing in Nigeria.

The circular expressed regret over the necessity of the decision, hinting at the impending layoff of all employees associated with the Kano branch.

While the closure raises concerns about the impact on the local workforce, underlying factors contributing to the move have been brought to light.

Among the primary reasons for the planned relocation is the exorbitant monthly rent of N66 million paid by Shoprite to Ado Bayero Mall.

Also, the supermarket bears the cost of independent electricity from the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), along with expenses for fueling and maintaining its standby generator.

When considering these substantial costs alongside staff salaries and other operational expenditures, the total financial burden becomes staggering, exceeding N1 billion annually.

Several sources within the mall have attested to a decline in customer patronage over the past two years, mainly attributed to the economic downturn affecting the purchasing power of the average Kano resident.

Shop owners within Ado Bayero Mall voiced concerns about the high cost of leasing space, with some revealing quarterly fees ranging from N3 million to N4.5 million.

The closure of Shoprite in Kano not only poses challenges for employees facing job uncertainties but also raises questions about the sustainability of businesses surrounding the mall.

Concerns about the impact on neighboring plazas and enterprises have prompted intervention efforts, with Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin scheduled to meet with Shoprite’s management in a bid to prevent the exit and explore potential solutions.

As Kano braces for the repercussions of Shoprite’s departure, the incident underscores broader challenges facing businesses amid Nigeria’s economic realities.

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