Sephora is restructuring, the company has confirmed to WWD.
The beauty retailer has cut 117 full-time jobs, about 7 percent of the corporate workforce, including some roles related to J.C. Penney stores, the company said.
As part of the plan, Sephora has created 132 new full-time roles. Terminated employees “will have the opportunity to interview for the newly created full-time positions,” the company said.
Sephora has faced challenges as a result of the coronavirus, but the company said it had been reviewing its corporate structure for “over a year” as it looked to grow in a “rapidly evolving environment.”
COVID-19 has affected all retailers, but before the pandemic in the U.S., Sephora had found itself in stiff competition with Ulta Beauty, which had gained traction with shoppers and brands in the U.S. over the past few years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact across the retail industry and required that we accelerate our review,” Sephora said in a statement.
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The goal is for Sephora teams to be more effective and agile, and better positioned for the future, the company said. “We will have leaner and more dynamic teams, with a sharp focus on the new environment that all retailers face, as well as new centers of excellence in areas of growing importance to the business — store and online experience.”
In adding the 132 roles, Sephora said it would decrease reliance on contractors and remove “certain roles that are no longer aligned with our changed priorities. These new positions present opportunities for mobility within the organization, as well as recruitment of more diverse talent,” the company said. When it responded to Sharon Chuter’s Pull Up for Change initiative, Sephora said 6 percent of employees across store, distribution and corporate leadership were Black.
“While we have approached this reshaping purposefully and we are confident these organizational changes will enable Sephora to evolve, these were exceptionally difficult decisions to make,” the company said in a statement.
Sephora temporarily closed stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and laid off part of its store workforce. Corporate employees also took pay cuts as the company worked to navigate through the pandemic.
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