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Estée Lauder to cut 2,000 jobs

An MAC store, part of the Estée Lauder group
Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

Estée Lauder is yet another victim of the Covid-19 crisis: as consumers buy less cosmetics, the group feels forced to cut 2,000 jobs and close one in six stores.

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Profits plunge

In the last quarter of its broken financial year, Estée Lauder saw its turnover drop 32?% to 2.43?billion dollars (2?billion euros), which is (just) lower than the 2.45?billion dollars that analysts were expecting. Profits were completely erased: the cosmetics group recorded a loss of 462?million dollars (390?million euros), coming from a profit of 157?million dollars last year.

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In its full financial year, ending 30?June, turnover dropped 4?% to 14.3?billion dollars (12?billion euros) as make-up sales stuttered. Estée Lauder's main make-up brand M.A.C. recorded an 18?% decrease, despite a 5?% growth in the July-December (2019) period. Many consumers were forced to stay at home for a significant period of time, and the obligation to wear face masks was also not exactly boosting make-up sales.

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Trouble is not over yet, as the company expects a 12?% turnover drop for the current quarter (even worse than analysts' earlier prediction of 11.4?%). As a result, Estée Lauder is reviewing its store network to reflect the trends of more teleworking and more online sales: up to 15?% of its stores are threatened, just as 3?% of the group's employee pool. In the worst case scenario, 2,000?jobs may be cut.

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