Hasbro, one of the biggest toy manufacturers in the world with licenses including Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers, and Wizards of the Coast, is set to being massive layoffs. The company confirmed the news in a press release, reveling that 15% of their global workforce will be cut throughout the next year, roughly 1,000 jobs in total. Lackluster sales form the holiday season of 2022 are the cause with sales reportedly down as much as 17% year over year, with toy sales falling and the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering brands actually rising ins ales. Layoffs at the company are set to begin next week.
Speaking in a statement, Hasbro chief executive officer Chris Cocks said, "Despite strong growth in Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming, Hasbro Pulse, and our licensing business, our Consumer Products business underperformed in the fourth quarter against the backdrop of a challenging holiday consumer environment...We are focused on implementing transformational changes aimed at substantially reducing costs and increasing our growth rates and profitability."
He added, "The elimination of these positions will impact many loyal Hasbro employees, and we do not undertake this process lightly. However, the changes are necessary to return our business to a competitive, industry-leading position and to provide the foundation for future success."
According to Hasbro, while their toy business fell in the fourth quarter of 2022, Wizards of the Coast and their Digital Gaming segment brought in $339 million in revenue, a growth of 22% year-over-year. For the entirety of 2022, the two brands brought in approximately $1.33 billion in segment revenue, up 3% year-over-year.
Hasbro's intention for the next few years is to stick to their "Blueprint 2.0 strategy" that they revealed in October. This would entail investing in direct-to-consumer sales like their Hasbro Pulse brand (which includes the Hasbro Selfie Series and Has-Lab crowdfunded products) and licensing their products to other brands (collaborations include Transformers and LEGO).
"Through this strategy, we are putting the consumer at the center of everything we do, and our Operational Excellence program is on track to drive significant cost savings across the business and improve our overall competitiveness," Cocks said. "These strategic pillars helped to improve our results, particularly operating profit margin and revenue growth in key categories, in a challenging fourth quarter, and lay the groundwork for continued progress in 2023."1comments