Top Toymaker Lays Off Staff Ahead Of Christmas Holiday

Hasbro, the renowned toymaker responsible for iconic brands like Monopoly, Play-Doh, and Transformers action figures, faces a significant setback as it announces the layoff of 1,100 employees. This decision comes amidst lackluster sales that plague the company during the holiday trading season.

The workforce reduction, which accounts for almost a fifth of Hasbro’s staff, follows a previous cut of 800 jobs earlier this year. The company emphasizes that this decision was made as a “last resort” given the challenging circumstances it has faced throughout 2023, with the struggles persisting into the fourth quarter. Furthermore, Hasbro anticipates these difficulties to continue into 2024.

In an email to the staff, Chris Cocks, the chief executive of Hasbro, described the layoffs as a necessary action to ensure the company’s overall health. He stated that, despite having confidence in Hasbro’s future, the current environment demands more proactive measures, even if they involve making some of the most challenging choices. Cocks acknowledges the timing of this announcement during the holiday season and empathizes with the affected employees, recognizing the hardship they may face.

Interestingly, Hasbro’s challenges starkly contrast with the success enjoyed by its rival, Mattel, which benefited greatly from the blockbuster release of its Barbie doll. While Mattel’s stock has risen by almost 6 percent this year, Hasbro’s shares have fallen by more than 21 percent due to a slowdown in sales.

Cocks explains that the company anticipated a year of change in 2023, involving significant updates to Hasbro’s leadership team, structure, and scope of operations. They expected the first three quarters to be challenging, particularly in the toy sector, as the market gradually returned to normalcy after the pandemic-induced highs. Although Hasbro has made progress across its organization, the headwinds experienced in the first nine months of the year have persisted into the holiday season and are likely to continue into 2024.

While the news of these layoffs is undoubtedly disheartening, Hasbro remains committed to adapting to the evolving market and ensuring its long-term success. The company’s leadership is determined to overcome the current challenges and emerge more robust than ever while supporting those affected by the unfortunate job cuts.