A Swappie shop in a shopping centre in Helsinki on 23 January 2023. The Finnish retailer of refurbished smartphones announced yesterday it is considering moving its production outside Finland, to for example Estonia or Germany. The plan could lead to the termination of up to 290 employees in Helsinki, Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

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SWAPPIE, a Finnish retailer of refurbished smartphones, has initiated consultative negotiations with staff representatives at its refurbishment centre in Kalasatama, Helsinki.

Sami Marttinen, the CEO of Swappie, on Monday stated in the company blog that the consultative negotiations, an attempt to improve efficiency and achieve undisclosed cost savings, could lead to changes in the employment relationship of up to 290 employees.

The negotiations are part of a plan to restructure its refurbishment operations and concentrate its repair operations outside Finland, in countries such as Estonia and Germany.

“We will now focus on supporting our talented employees through this process and for this reason we won’t be giving further statements on the topic for the time being,” wrote Marttinen.

Helsingin Sanomat on Monday wrote that the startup has had to rapidly shift its operational focus from growth to profitability in an environment defined by accelerating inflation and declining online sales. The rise in interest rates has simultaneously made financing harder to come by for all growth-oriented companies.

Redundancies have been made or announced also by Aiven, Oura, Smartly and Yousician.

Swappie, the newspaper reminded, was considering making redundant up to 250 employees, roughly a sixth of its staff of 1,600, in June 2022. The plan was made public only a few months after it had announced it is looking to increase its global headcount to 2,200 by the end of the year.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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