In anticipation of a new business venture, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced on Thursday that he’s laying off 120 employees from the company’s Shakopee production department.
The new venture is called MyStore.com, a website through which inventors and entrepreneurs can sell their products.
The layoffs will shift the Shakopee employee base from 90 percent production and 10 percent fulfillment to a 50-50 split. Lindell said in prepared remarks that this will enable Chaska-based MyPillow to run MyStore order fulfillment services out of the Shakopee facilities.
"I value each and every one of my employees, so this is a difficult decision,” Lindell said. “However, this is what is best right now for the future of MyPillow and to prepare for the launch of MyStore.com.”
But he added that he’ll be hiring for the newly created positions once MyStore is up and running—sometime within the next two months, he expects.
The Star Tribune reported Friday that Lindell gave affected employees a week’s pay and three employment options: find a new job on their own, wait until MyPillow rehires at Shakopee, or move to another business in the southwest suburbs that Lindell had arranged to make room for hiring them—though Lindell did not specify the name of the company.
Lindell told the Star Tribune he expects MyStore will ultimately require a 20,000-person workforce, and said he already has 100 companies lined up to use the new e-commerce platform.
During the reduced-staffing period, he’s scaling back his production volume of MyPillow products. MyPillow sells pillows, mattresses, sheets, and other bedding items.
The company and Lindell are known nationwide for Lindell’s infomercials and recognizable mall kiosks. Lindell also is high profile in national politics, closely affiliating himself as a friend and supporter of President Trump.
He’s also drawn headlines for battles with government regulators and consumer watchdogs. In 2016, the company settled a $1 million suit, as a defendant, for alleged false advertising; and losing Better Business Bureau accreditation after falling to an F rating.
MyPillow also has experienced layoffs prior to this current round. Just two years ago, Lindell laid off 140 employees when production overran sales.
Following this week’s job cuts, MyPillow’s workforce stands at 1,500 people, with about 500 in production, reported the Strib. The company has about eight weeks of inventory stockpiled.