The news: Amazon plans to lay off over 18,000 employees—nearly double the number the company initially said it would cut—as it wrestles with bloated operating expenses and softening consumer demand, per The Wall Street Journal.
How we got here: The expanded cuts are Amazon’s latest attempt to get costs under control after embarking on an overly optimistic course of rapid expansion during the first two years of the pandemic.
Government scrutiny intensifies: While the company navigates a difficult economic landscape, its business practices have come under fire from lawmakers in Europe and the US.
The big takeaway: Despite the headwinds buffeting the company, Amazon is more optimistic than most about the broader economic landscape. According to an internal analysis reported on by Insider, the retailer’s economists believe there’s just a 30% chance of the US entering a recession within the next six months. But given that Amazon’s current situation is partly a function of its inability to predict that ecommerce demand would slow once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, it makes sense that the company is preparing itself for the worst.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.