Blue Apron ($APRN) is stained in the red.
The food delivery startup suffered a big decline in share price since its 2017 market debut — thwarted by an influx of competitors to the meal prep space, as well as major tech players like Amazon that want to wield their clout and their checkbook to buy big grocers.
Blue Apron stock is down nearly 95% from where it was after its 2017 market debut. And on Monday, May 20, it announced a reverse stock split executed with the intention of reducing share count and lifting price, all so the company can remain listed on public markets. All that comes a little more than a month after CEO Brad Dickerson announced that he would leave the company.
There are a number of trends the company is facing that it will need to quickly reverse, especially as competitors are rolling out same-day delivery to maintain consumers' attention. The alternative data tells a story that matches the stock chart.
Headcount Beginning to Fall
According to both its LinkedIn ($MSFT) Employee Headcount, and the job listings posted independently on the web, Blue Apron is spending less on staff. The company's headcount is down since the year began, and it's also listing fewer jobs on the web.
When a brick-and-mortar enterprise sees web traffic fall, it's not a great thing. When it happens to a business that's based entirely on the web, it's worse. Our data only covers Blue Apron up until early February 2019 - so investors can hold out hope this trend can be reversed - but it could be a long-shot.
Blue Apron is also losing traction on social media - another metric that is especially key for web-based businesses. Our first chart above represents its Twitter ($TWTR) Follower Count, which began to fall slightly to begin 2019. The second is its' Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count, our metric for tracking buzz on Facebook for a given product. Both are in decline.
Blue Apron is running out levers to pull to preserve its business — and it will need a quick solution in order to remain relevant. We'll have another look at its data before Blue Apron's next earnings report.