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Maker of OXO and Osprey is laying off 10% of staff

<i>Stan Carroll/The Commercial Appeal/AP</i><br/>Helen of Troy
Stan Carroll/The Commercial Appeal/AP
Helen of Troy

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN

Helen of Troy, which owns OXO and Osprey among other consumer goods and beauty brands, is laying off 10% of its staff, in the face of sluggish demand and economic uncertainty.

“The new structure will reduce the size of our global workforce with impact across all business segments, departments and shared services,” said COO Noel Geoffroy during an analyst call Thursday. “We did not take this decision lightly.”

Most of the layoffs will be completed by March 1, the company said, with the remainder by the end of fiscal year 2024. They are part of an effort to streamline the organization and reach $75 to $85 million in annualized savings in the coming years.

The company joins several others that have recently announced workforce reductions. Amazon said Wednesday it plans to lay off more than 18,000 employees. Salesforce is planning to cut about 10% of staff and reduce its real estate footprint.

For consumer goods makers like Helen of Troy, reduced demand from people cutting back on spending because of inflation and other pressures has been a challenge. In November, US consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since July.

Net consolidated sales at Helen of Troy dropped 10.6% in the three months ending November 30, compared to the same period the year before, the company said Thursday. Shares fell about 6% Thursday.

“During the third quarter, consumers continued to tighten their purchasing patterns in some categories in response to high inflation and higher interest rates,” said CEO Julien Mininberg during the call.

The slowing demand has impacted retailers, who are trying to manage their stock.

“As consumption slowed, some retailers continued their conservative repurchase patterns to further reduce their inventory,” Mininberg said, adding that “the holiday season started off slower than expected with discretionary categories generally under pressure from these trends.”

Helen of Troy’s brands include Hydro Flask and Osprey, as well as a number of health and wellness brands like Honeywell and Pur. In the beauty segment, it owns Drybar and Hot Tools, which sells curling irons and other hair tools.

Correction: An earlier version of this story and photo caption incorrectly listed some brands Helen of Troy licenses but does not own, which are unaffected by these layoffs.

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