E-commerce giant Shopify Inc. is expanding its footprint on the West Coast with plans to hire 1,000 workers in Vancouver, where it will also build a permanent office.
The focus of the operation will be on building software and expanding its research and development team, which supports about one million website customers around the world, the Ottawa-based company said in a statement Tuesday.
“It’s always been clear to me that there’s a huge local talent presence (in Vancouver),” Lynsey Thornton, vice-president of user experience at Shopify, said in the statement. “It’s our intention to build the best R and D team in the city.”
The company’s office will be located across four floors covering more than 70,000 square feet at Bentall Centre in downtown Vancouver. It’s due to open late this year, Shopify said.
The company is expanding in other cities in Canada, the United States and globally as shopping over the internet becomes pervasive in all avenues of retailing, from luxury goods to groceries. Retail e-commerce in Canada in November rose 6.6 per cent from the same month a year earlier to $2.4 billion, according to Statistics Canada.
Thornton leads an existing Shopify team that includes hundreds working remotely in British Columbia and at rented space in Vancouver. The new hiring will be done over several years, the company said.
Shopify said earlier that it’s spending more than US$1 billion to build and operate a network of fulfilment centres across the U.S. to help retailers cut shipping and improve delivery times.
In May, Shopify opened its newest office in Toronto and plans to double its workforce in the city to 1,500 by opening more new space in 2022, the company said. Shopify’s global presence includes 4,000 employees across 15 cities including Berlin, Singapore, Tokyo and Stockholm. A space in Los Angeles is used by entrepreneurs and remote workers, the company said.
Shopify gained 3.45 per cent on Tuesday to close at $615.42. The stock has shot up in recent months to a market capitalization of $71.3 billion from $47.6 billion at Sept. 30.
The Vancouver hiring is specifically targeting backend developers, data engineers, mobile developers, web developers, product designers and product managers, the company said.
“We look forward to meeting the highly employable graduates across the province and the exceptional senior talent that lives and works in Vancouver,” Thornton said.