Toy maker Hasbro to cut 1,100 jobs, prompted by ongoing slowdown in sales

FILE - General views of the Hasbro toy company's Media Studios on April 27, 2021 in Burbank, California.  (AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Toy maker Hasbro said Monday it is cutting about 1,100 jobs, or 20% of its workforce, as the malaise in the toy business extends through another holiday shopping season.

The nearly century-old Rhode Island-based company behind Monopoly, Play-Doh and My Little Pony toys disclosed the layoffs in a memo to employees published in a regulatory filing. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

The company said that the reductions are on top of 800 job cuts that have been taken so far in 2023 as part of moves announced last year to save up to $300 million annually by 2025. As of year-end 2022, the company said it had 6,490 employees.

Like many toy companies, Hasbro is struggling with a slowdown in sales after a surge during pandemic lockdowns when parents were splurging on toys to keep their children busy. Last holiday season, many toy companies had to slash prices to get rid of merchandise due to weak demand. And the challenges have continued. Toy sales in the U.S. were down 8% from January through August, based on Circana’s most recent data.

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"The market headwinds we anticipated have proven to be stronger and more persistent than planned," Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks wrote in the memo. "While we have made some important progress across our organization, the headwinds we saw through the first nine months of the year have continued into holiday and are likely to persist into 2024."

Cocks had said the toymaker will "focus on fewer, bigger brands; gaming; digital; and our rapidly growing direct to consumer and licensing businesses."

Shares in Hasbro Inc. fell almost 6% in after-market trading Monday.