Morphe, a brand once synonymous with YouTube beauty culture, has closed stores, which is raising questions like- Is Morphe going out of business?
The news broke off on Twitter and TikTok when Morphe employees shared how they were laid off without any warning.
So, what exactly is going on with Morphe? Is it really going out of business? Make sure you read through the end to find out the whole story.
The Rise And Fall Of Morphe
Morphe is a makeup brand founded in 2008 by brother and sister duo Chris and Linda Tawil. Shortly after its launch, Morphe started garnering a massive following because of its brightly colored makeup products, which were priced at half the price of other big beauty brands.
Another reason why Morphe was able to attract so many customers was the influencer collaboration that the brand did with the likes of Nikita Dragun, Manny Gutierrez, and Charli D’Amelio.
But soon, the frenzy started dying out, and customers started reassessing some of Morphe’s high-profile collaborators. For example, Jeffree Star was called out for his racist behavior, James Charles accepted sending inappropriate messages to minors, and Shane Dawson was forced to think about the kind of content he created in the past, which included blackface.
So, in an effort to reposition itself as more than just doing influencer collaborations, Morphe announced that it will now be a part of the portfolio company Forma Brands.
However, in 2022, fresh rumors that the company might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy started to surface. On January 11, 2022, it was indeed confirmed that Forma is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a part of investor acquisition.
Is Morphe Going Out Of Business?
The Gen-Z brand shared on Twitter that they are shutting down nearly 20 stores.
“We have made the difficult decision to close all Morphe stores in the U.S. We are forever grateful to our store teams for their passion, talent, and dedication over the years,” they posted.
The company also added that the brick-and-mortar stores outside of the U.S. will still remain open, though.
“Customers can continue to shop Morphe online and at select retailers.”
“We have made the strategic decision to enhance our focus on the Company’s wholesale and e-commerce operations going forward,” Morphe said in a statement. “We believe this shift will position Morphe to better compete in the broader beauty landscape and more efficiently reach our customers where and how they shop.”
So Morphe is not really going out of business but is simply closing down all their brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. to restructure the company. You can still shop from Morphe online and at select retail stores.
Why Is Morphe Closing Stores?
The fall of Morphe was not sudden. Over the past two years, Morphe’s sales started shrinking considerably.
Business of Fashion reported that Morphe’s sales dropped from $500 million in 2020 to $295 million in 2021. They were also repeatedly considering filing for bankruptcy.
Even before that, Morphe was hit with several lawsuits for false advertising, unpaid rent on one of its retail locations, lack of support for its subsidiaries, etc.
Not to mention the controversies they faced in the choice of their influencer collaborators. All these factors have a role in Morphe’s decision to close so many of its stores.
What Are Employees Saying About Morphe?
Some of Morphe’s employees shared that it was quite shocking that they were laid off at such short notice. Some of them didn’t even receive a day’s notice before losing their jobs.
Workers revealed that they started worrying when Morphe stopped sending shipment products and hosting massive sales, but they were not informed about the situation until the last moment.
As a result, employees started backlashing at the company on TikTok, and soon, hashtag #justiceformorpheretailemployees started trending. Even though many employee videos have been taken down now, the hashtag has received over 7.5 million views till now.
In its Twitter statement, Morphe wrote the company is “forever grateful to our store teams for their passion, talent, and dedication over the years.”
The company promised severance packages to the employees who lost their jobs, but the promise was not met as per the last update.
What is the Future of Morphe?
While Morphe is trying to fight the battle of relevance, ex-employees are left to figure out what is next for them.
Some of them are still waiting for their severance package; some have found jobs, while others are still trying to secure employment elsewhere.
The company is now working on a different strategy that involves strengthening its online presence and sales. What the future holds for the company no one knows, but for now, things have settled a bit.
This news is definitely heartbreaking for thousands of employees who lost their jobs without prior notice.
Although the company is still running online, it is hard to tell if it will be able to reposition itself like it was once in the near future.
Is Morphe still availble online?
Yes, although Morphe has closed all of its stores in the U.S., You can still shop from them online.
Who owns Morphe?
Forma Brand owned Morphe. However, after filing for bankruptcy, the company has signed an agreement with lenders Cerberus Capital Management and Jefferies Finance LLC to be acquired for $690 million in debt relief.
Which brands are a part of Forma Brand?
Morphe, Morphe 2, Playa Beauty, Bad Habit, Jaclyn Cosmetics, and Lipstick Queen all come under Forma Brand.