Wolverine Worldwide Plans to Lay Off Sweaty Betty Employees As It Reorganizes Brand

Watch on FN

Wolverine Worldwide is preparing to lay off employees in its Sweaty Betty brand as it looks to improve its cost structure.

Wolverine did not confirm how many employees would be impacted by the staff reduction, which was described as a proposed reduction, and announced other changes to improve the business, such as consolidating office space in London and having Sweaty Betty report into the company’s London-based International Group, which oversees business outside the U.S. and is headed up by Isabel Soriano.

“Bringing Sweaty Betty under Isabel Soriano and the International Group fits perfectly with our strategy to prioritize resources and support to the brands with the biggest global growth opportunities,” said Wolverine CEO and president Brendan Hoffman in a statement.

Wolverine, which acquired Sweaty Betty in August 2021, said the impact of these changes were reflected in guidance for 2023.

Sweaty Betty CEO Julia Straus said the changes are meant to position the brand “for long-term success.” Straus is set to leave the company is June and a search for her successor is underway.

The changes come after Wolverine rolled out a turnaround plan in November to rightsize business and improve gross margin, reorganizing its portfolio of brands into three different segments. The company also divested its Keds business late last year, with Hoffman explaining that the company’s efforts would be better spent in higher-growth brands like Saucony or Sweaty Betty, where sales could be grown with “far less of a lift.”

Wolverine Worldwide last month reported a net loss of $361 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $14.6 million in the year-ago period. The loss per diluted share was $4.59 last quarter versus a loss of $0.18 in the fourth quarter of 2021.

More Retail