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Fitbit to slay 110 employees in midst of buying spree

Fitbit Blaze

Wearables company Fitbit may have gone on a spending spree recently, but the firm is beginning to feel the pinch thanks to lower than expected sales of its gadgets.

“Based upon preliminary financial information, Fitbit expects to report 6.5 million devices sold and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 to be in the range of $572-million to $580-million, compared to the company’s previously announced guidance range of $725-million to $750-million,” read an excerpt of the firm’s financial report.

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As a result, Fitbit will conduct a “reduction in force, that will impact approximately 110 employees, constituting approximately 6% of the company’s global workforce, creating a more focused and efficient operating model”.

The company added that it received lower than expected demand in its “more mature” markets, the EMEA region saw 58% growth in the fourth quarter.

Fitbit may have acquired several companies recently, but it’s still laying off staff

Fitbit went on a spending spree of sorts in the past few months, acquiring smartwatch firms Vector and Pebble as well as wearable payment platform Coin. In other words, the average person might think that Fitbit is diving into smartwatches — and they’d be correct.

Fitbit announces the Blaze smartwatch at CES 2016

Dubbed the Blaze, the wearable marks a few firsts for the American company, most notably, it’s first genuine colour screen smartwatch. Read more…

“We believe the evolving wearables market continues to present growth opportunities for us that we will capitalise on by investing in our core product offerings, while expanding into the smartwatch category to diversify revenue and capture share of the over $10-billion global smartwatch market,” said Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to succeed in delivering what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch: stylish, well-designed devices that combine the right general purpose functionality with a focus on health and fitness. With the recent acquisition of assets from Pebble, Vector Watch and Coin, we are taking action to position the company for long-term success.”

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