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Monday, January 18, 2021

Blue Apron may put company up for sale; to close Arlington facility, cutting 240 jobs

Blue Apron, the online seller of meal kits, said it may put itself up for sale.

The struggling company, which pioneered the meal-kit craze in the U.S., has faced tough competition from online rivals that also ship boxes of raw meat, fish and vegetables to doorstops. Grocers, including Kroger and Walmart, have also been selling their own ready-to-cook kits in stores.

To cut costs, Blue Apron said it will close a facility where its kits are packed and shipped in Arlington, Texas, cutting about 240 jobs. Its facilities in Linden, New Jersey, and Richmond, California, will remain open.

Blue Apron said late Tuesday that its number of customers fell 37% to 351,000 in the last three months of 2019. Revenue fell 33% to $94.3 million and it reported a loss of $21.9 million in the quarter.

“Although the closing impacts approximately 240 of our Arlington associates, we are and will be continuing to hire at our Linden and Richmond sites to align with increased volume as a result of the transfer of production,” said Linda Findley Kozlowski, CEO of Blue Apron in prepared remarks. “We expect to be adding up to 140 roles across our Linden and Richmond sites. This continued optimization enables the company to redirect financial resources into other parts of the business, including growth initiatives.”

New York-based Blue Apron said it is also considering merging with another company or selling parts of its business.

Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc. fell 22% to $3.40 Wednesday morning. Its stock is down about 85% in the last year.

Blue Apron has launched meals for dieters to try and boost sales, partnering with WW, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers.

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