Etsy makes new cuts to Irish workforce

Etsy, the online arts and crafts marketplace, has begun laying off employees at its European headquarters in Dublin as part of a significant round of redundancies.

The company declined to say how many people it was laying off in Dublin, where it employs about 60 staff. Sources said that affected staff were brought to meetings at the company’s Great Strand Street offices in Dublin 1 this week.

It is part of 140 job cuts announced globally this week and more than 200 announced since May as the company struggles to move into profitability.

A spokeswoman at its New York headquarters said that the vast majority of layoffs would be in the US.

“The majority of eliminated positions are in our Brooklyn headquarters, but we are also streamlining operations in our global offices. We remain committed to pursuing global growth opportunities,” the company said in a statement.

Etsy was criticised in 2015 by campaign groups in the US lobbying for tax fairness after it transferred some of its intellectual property assets to Ireland, where its tax obligation is lower.

The company launched its European, Middle East and African headquarters in Dublin in 2013 after two years of negotiations with IDA Ireland.

Its Dublin operations include customer and sales support, engineering, IT and human resources for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The company, which is a household name in the US but has had less of an impact in Europe, allows users to sell handmade items and craft supplies online. It has struggled against competitors, including Amazon, which has launched its own online arts and crafts trading market.

The two rounds of cuts this year bring the number of global layoffs to 230, 22 per cent of its 2016 workforce.

Founded in 2005, the company employed about 1,000 people globally by the end of 2016, with revenue of $365 million. It has posted a loss every year since 2012.