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Naked Wines cuts 6% of its workforce

After a tumultuous few months involving significant changes at the top and a plummeting share price, Naked Wines has made 30 employees redundant in an effort to cut costs and create a “leaner and more focused organisation”.

In June, the Naked Wines share price plummeted by 44% after CEO Nick Devlin said that he would not “pursue growth at any cost”. In the subsequent months there have been numerous shifts within the board, though the turmoil continued after one non-executive director left the role within three weeks.

Speaking to investors this week, Devlin said: “We recognise that in pursuit of rapid growth we have made mistakes…Whilst the business today remains materially bigger than pre-pandemic, in 2021 we bought inventory and added to our cost base in anticipation of sustained faster growth which has not been delivered…Today we are taking steps to reset our cost base and unwind inventory levels.”

One shift at the top has come from chairman Darryl Rawlings stepping down. He will be succeeded by David Stead, who has been director since 2017. Devlin said: “As the founder and CEO of a direct to consumer, monthly subscription platform, Darryl has been a tremendous asset to us over the past twelve months. His focus on the fundamentals and unit economics have been helpful to us as we seek to create long-term sustainable value for our members, winemakers, team and shareholders.”

“I’d also like to welcome David to the role of chairman. David brings a deep understanding of the Naked Wines model combined with extensive operating experience and I believe he will be a great asset to myself and the management team in navigating Naked successfully through the current market and consumer environment,” Devlin continued.

As a result of these dramatic changes, estimated to save around £18 million, the direct-to-consumer seller’s shares rose to 128.30 this morning, a leap of more than 30%.

db reached out to Naked Wines for comment and was told: “As a result of a restructuring process in the first half of the year, there were 30 redundancies across the Naked Wines group globally (c.6%).”

Last month, db spoke with Naked Wines’ buying director Matt Smith about how its range is changing.

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