Hasbro Pulls a "Grinch" by Laying Off 1000 Employees "just in time for Christmas!"
It's no "Ho, ho, ho" for yo, Joe!
Recently, toy manufacturer Hasbro made news after a surprising announcement of layoffs, eliminating 1,100 jobs, or 20% of its workforce citing slowdown in sales. According to The Wall Street Journal who was the first to report the unfortunate news,
The Rhode Island-based company behind iconic toys and franchises Play-Doh, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe and Transformers announced the layoffs in a memo to employees via regulatory filing.
“The market headwinds we anticipated have proven to be stronger and more persistent than planned,” Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks wrote in the memo. “While we have made some important progress across our organization, the headwinds we saw through the first nine months of the year have continued into holiday and are likely to persist into 2024.”
This was on top of the 800 layoffs that occurred in January. Cocks elaborated on Hasbro's planned strategies in the near future:
"..focus on fewer, bigger brands; gaming; digital; and our rapidly growing direct to consumer and licensing businesses.”
During the pandemic, toy sales were surging as parents splurged to keep their kids busy during the lockdown. Also, the G.I. Joe Classified figures have for the most part was a huge success. However, there have been markdowns and slashed prices on the popular military themed franchise who gained prominence during the early 80's that is now a resurgence. And of course, there are the Star Wars and Marvel figures that were hugely popular.
However, Cocks referring to headwinds" as the sole reason for the layoffs, says otherwise so I guess it isn't all sunshine and rainbows at the Toy company. With increasing competition from videogames and other media venues and interests, action figure sales for the most part are now a collector's and resellers market. While there may be some justified explanations behind the layoffs, job elimination during Christmas comes off too grinchy for me.
Prior to Hasbro’s reconstruction plans, the company sold the Movie and television production studio eOne to Lionsgate for a mere 500 million. Originally the studio was intended to develop several Movies and televisions shows based on Hasbro’s iconic intellectual properties featuring the usual suspects, G.I.Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, ROM, and The Micronauts unfortunately, their ambitious plans were scrapped and not much came out of the eOne acquisition. You can learn more about it in this video below.
And then there's this bit of news which may explain the reason behind the current layoffs. Yeah, "Merry Christmas."