Am I Next? Mass layoff at Julep - Seattle, Washington.

Online cosmetics and personal care products marketer Seattle,Washington-based Julep has hit the skids and will be laying off 102 employees as they move their headquarters to New York City, New York and close their local stores.

This is a classic entrepreneurial tale where the story sells the concept, attracts significant venture capital, and then fails to scale or the parent company simply runs out of cash.

Julep, founded in 2007 by former Starbucks and Boston Consulting Group executive Jane Park, hit a rough spot when it was accused of using deceptive ‘negative option’ marketing tactics in their subscription box sales of beauty and personal care items and was ordered to pay a hefty fine.

The company was acquired shortly after the settlement by the New York City-based Glansaol in December 2016 with the intent to supplement the company’s portfolio of synergistic beauty companies. Glansaol (meaning pure life’ in Irish) was founded by former Revlon President and CEO Alan Ennis, an Irishman, and financed by the private equity firm Warburg Pincus to market beauty and personal care products and has filed for Chapter 11 pending the sale of certain assets to AS Beauty including beauty brands like Julep, Laura Geller,and Clark’s Botanicals.

According to a statement by Glansaol CEO Nancy Bernardini, “The board and management team have thoroughly assessed all of our strategic options and are confident that the proposed sale process represents the best path forward for the company. We are pleased to have entered into an asset sale agreement with AS Beauty and are excited for the company’s future.”

Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?


Am I Next? Nestle Skin Health Business for sale — Is the Handwriting on the Wall?

Following a comprehensive strategic review which is scheduled to be completed in mid-2019, Zurich, Switzerland-based Nestle has decided to increase the company’s attention on their traditional core products in the foods, drinks, and nutritional health sectors.

It appears that Nestle will be exploring “strategic options” for its Skin Health business which includes the well-known face care products Cetaphil and Proactiv. It is believed that the decision was driven in part by activist hedge fund investor Dan Loeb who runs Third Point and who appeared to have recommended the sale. The division, with sales of approximately $2.8 billion in 2017 could go for an estimated $8+ billion.

The handwriting is clearly on the wall. Employees should be prepared for job cuts as the unit is prepared for sale and then additional cuts after any acquisition or merger as duplicative functions are eliminated and the firm is integrated into a new business framework.

Are you wondering, Am I Next?