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Online drugstore cuts staff by third

A representative from San Francisco-based says cutting a third of its current staff would help "shorten the path to profitability," which the company expects to meet sometime in 2001.

The latest company to catch the dot-com financial malaise, online drugstore has laid off about a third of its staff, the company confirmed today.

A representative from San Francisco-based said layoffs, which took place on Friday, would "shorten the path to profitability," which the company expects to meet sometime in 2001.

"Yes, we did have layoffs. Yes, they were substantial; and no, we're not going out of business," said Bruce Mowery, vice president of marketing and business development for, when asked if the layoffs meant the company was on the verge of shutting down.

Mowery would not say how many staff it still employed or give an exact number of how many people were let go.

"Our goal is profitability at the earliest opportunity and anything we can do to lower operating expenses is always a consideration," Mowery said.

The cutbacks come several months after an earlier round of layoffs. In June, the company let go 20 percent of its staff in an effort to cut costs.

Such measures are becoming standard practice for dot-coms struggling to meet investor expectations and expand revenues. Since April, when the stock market hammered shares in Internet companies, particularly retail concerns, a number of dot-coms have either cut staff, shelved plans for public offerings, or in worst cases, closed operations altogether.

As early as this week, teen site is expected to shut down. The site, backed by prominent Silicon Valley businessmen including Jim Clark, also laid off nearly 65 workers.'s Mowery said that he was unsure if the company would lay off any more staff this year. The company doesn't have plans to raise more funds this year, he said., which launched in August 1999, was born from former health-products site The site had changed its name last year when it expanded to include prescription drug sales and a broader line of health and beauty products.

In May, withdrew its filing for an initial public offering, just three months after it registered to sell shares worth about $86 million.