NEw hiring anD biggEr offiCEs arE in thE works
Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify is on a hiring spree and planning on expanding its offices to make space for hundreds of new employees.
In Montreal, the company aims to nearly double the workforce with 120 new staff in the next few years to add to its existing head count of 150. But those people will have a roomy office space as Shopify is expanding its Montreal footprint to accommodate as many as 450 people.
If it seems like a strange decision to build office space for nearly double the number of planned employees, but it makes sense in light of Shopify’s rapid expansion.
As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the company had nearly 3,000 employees, a 50-per-cent increase over 2016.
Shopify provides a platform for online merchants that allows for payment processing, inventory management, online marketing and shipping support. Currently more than 600,000 merchants use the Shopify system.
The hiring spree isn’t confined to Quebec. Last year, Shopify opened a Waterloo office and announced plans to hire 300-500 people in the southern Ontario tech hub over a few years. And in Toronto, Shopify is planning to move its operations into a new office downtown.
“We’re building a bigger office there,” chief operating officer Harley Finklestein told the Financial Post on the sidelines of Unite 2018, Shopify’s annual developer conference where executives announced new products for the platform. “Right now we’re in two (offices.) We’re going to combine and move in there, and that’ll probably be in the next year or two.”
Shopify is making a big push internationally, translating its merchant platform into French, Japanese, Spanish and several other languages. As part of the international expansion, Finklestein said the company needs to increase the payment methods it supports to allow for regional preferences.
“For example in India, cashon-delivery is a lot more popular of a way to transact than credit cards,” Finklestein said. “So part of the translation isn’t just changing words, it’s figuring out the cultural nuances.”
Shopify’s other major direction is toward bricks-and-mortar retail, as part of an effort to become an integrated solution for businesses selling across multiple retail channels.