Wearables maker North is now reducing its workforce one week after cutting the base price of its focals lenses by almost 50 percent.
According to The Verge, the company has deprived its over 400 employees of 150 jobs. North confirmed the reduction on Friday, but did not confirm how many jobs were cut.
To get focals to market quickly, we have large R & D deployments ahead of the market launch, Production, trade and more done. These risks were the right decisions at the time and helped us create a product that raises the bar "Our category of everyday smartphones," said Stephen Lake, CEO of North, in a statement emailed to Next Reality. "In order to be successful in the long term, we have some difficult decisions and yesterday we decided to lay off a number of people to focus our resources and ensure that we have enough runway to meet our upcoming milestones in the EU Reach 1
Since Focals requires customization, sales are limited to its retail locations – first brick and retail showrooms in New York and Toronto. The company has expanded its commercial reach with a number of pop-up stores, from Seattle this week to San Francisco and parts unknown there. According to a company spokesman, the layoffs will not hinder North's showroom trip.
"I'm incredibly thankful to everyone who helped us get there, and our team will do anything to help protect all concerned colleagues land on their feet," Lake said. "What's next – we're proud to have and grow our headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo, and we'll continue to make it our home, and we intend to grow and build here over time."
The first stylish glasses from for consumers that hit the market stumbled in recent weeks. While the company said the price cut to tailor the product more to consumer expectations for eyewear also sounds like sales are slow, a theory that is gaining strength through job losses is not necessarily North's fate, but they're taking that promising start something off.