Large Beauty Brand To Close All U.S. Stores After Eviction Threats, Severed Partnerships
Popular online beauty retailer Morphe plans to close all 19 of its U.S. stores after the company faced eviction at multiple locations and severed ties with major influencers who helped grow its brand.
Forma Brands, the parent company of Morphe, wrote in a statement to Bloomberg that the closures were part of the company's strategy to focus on e-commerce and wholesale.
The beauty retailer, which once was valued at $2B, saw sales fall by 66% in 2021, Bloomberg reported. The fall from grace came after partnerships with influencers like James Charles and Jeffree Star were severed after controversies, leaving Morphe with an abundance of product it had trouble selling.
"We have made the difficult decision to close all Morphe stores in the U.S.," the company wrote in a Twitter thread on Thursday. "Customers can continue to shop Morphe online and at select retailers. Morphe stores outside the U.S. will remain open."
Trying to push away from the influencer branding that once brought it success, Forma made plans to acquire smaller beauty lines. The company paused this new venture soon after, leading one of the companies it bought to sue for $15M in damages.
In 2021, Morphe faced its own legal battles as numerous mall owners brought on eviction threats for unpaid rent. In March of that year, the brand faced eviction for $319K in unpaid rent at its Tampa location. Overseas, Morphe was among 11 retailers landlords said didn't pay rent at two London shopping centers.
In October, Forma revealed during one lawsuit hearing about unpaid rent that a bankruptcy filing was in consideration as the company continued to struggle through the pandemic, Women's Wear Daily reported.
Morphe began opening locations in 2018, with its first store in Tampa's International Plaza amassing thousands of shoppers, the Tampa Bay Times reported at the time. The beauty brand has another 11 stores in the UK and Australia, according to its website, which the company says will remain open.