Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Liz Earle Official Statement

In the interests of full disclosure: I have worked for Liz Earle in the past. 

I used to joke that if you lived on the Isle of Wight you either worked for Liz Earle or were a chambermaid (no offence IOW peeps). The company is a huge part of the IOW's being. And the IOW is very small. About 140,000 people. That makes it the size of Bolton. Or, slightly larger than Brighton. Everyone knows everyone.

Earlier today my phone started going into overdrive. People were being laid off. They had cancelled their plans for the huge expansion on the Island and the 500 new jobs that would go with it. Managers were being let go. Liz had been let go. From multiple sources. And when I say sources - I mean friends. I'm not working for the Wall Street Journal folks - I'm under no illusions.

After I had tweeted about what was happening I immediately received a call from their PR Dowal Walker.

'It is categorically untrue that Liz has left the company.' 

Fine. I'm more than happy to put something right.

I asked if it was true that she is now contracted for 25 days a year only - and that was mainly for QVC and PR purposes. As far as the Official line: Liz is still on board.

This from their Facebook page earlier this month when the rumours started.

"Hi All.
Please be assured that Liz continues to be an integral part of Liz Earle Beauty Co ltd. We are delighted that Liz has retained her involvement since Avon acquired the company in 2010. We hope this clears up any misunderstanding :)"

This is their release to the press regarding the redundancies/cancelled expansion:

'Liz Earle Beauty Co. Limited continues to evolve and contribute to the Island economy.

It is best practice that companies review their organisational design and processes to support their growth plans. 

Liz Earle Beauty Co. Limited is currently reviewing the infrastructure to ensure world class resources are in place for future growth expectations. A consolidation of roles, improvement in working processes and effectiveness are key priorities. The business objective is to continue to drive for growth and optimal business performance. 

As part of the Organisational Review there is a consultation process underway and is expected to conclude in the next 30 days.'

'A consolidation of roles, improvement in working processes and effectiveness are key priorities.'

Ahem. Laying people off.


I've since been told both Liz and Kim Buckland officially resigned from the Board on 25th September, which is true. Source

So what gives?

Who knows.

It's inevitable that when a smaller company sells out to a huge international conglomerate - Avon - that they will make changes after the initial grace period of promising 'no changes'.

But please: don't treat people like idiots and tell them 'not to talk to anyone'. Especially when it's people losing their livelihood. Its an even bigger insult.

53 comments:

  1. How sad for those poor people, bad times.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the 'labels' you have listed at the bottom of the post!

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  3. this makes me sad :(

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  4. Found this

    Director Summary

    Liz Earle has 12 current or previous company director or secretary appointments.
    Short name - Liz Earle
    Director ID : 906298367
    Year of Birth: 1963


    Address
    The Green House Nicholson Road
    Ryde
    Isle Of Wight
    United Kingdom
    PO33 1BD















    Company Summary



    Company Name

    Company Status




    LIZ EARLE BEAUTY CO. (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    LIZ EARLE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    LEBM LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    LIZ EARLE LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    LIZ EARLE BY MAIL LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    LIZ EARLE COSMETICS LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    MARTIAL FITNESS LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 21/09/2001)



    LIZ EARLE BEAUTY CO. LIMITED

    Active

    (Director Resigned 23/09/2012)



    UNION YOGA LIMITED

    Dissolved




    UNION LIVING LIMITED

    Dissolved




    UNION SPA & RETREAT LIMITED

    Dissolved




    UNION COSMETICS LIMITED

    Dissolved








    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------










    LIZ EARLE BEAUTY CO. (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to reassure - that's not Liz's personal address - I would never publish that. It's the widely known company address.

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  5. I am an ex-Liz Earle, worked there for years. I am still in touch with lots of people there as they are now friends. I have to say the all thing disgust me. Few years ago the director announced the company was bought by Avon, voice shaking was saying no worries your jobs are safe.... And here we are!!! I saw it coming so I left before the storm but still... It is just awful!! The worst part is the LIE!!!
    In march, the director left, then his wife (co-founder), then head of HR, head of IT, Head of finance, PR girls... And employee being told: they are pursuing their own career opening their iwn business... Really??? All after each other??? Are employees so stupid???? Employees were believing in these people and now, lots if them are stuck on sn island with a mortgage, kids and soon... No job!!!
    So please, please now.... Get some respect for them and don't talk to them as idiots!!!

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  6. rot was setting in when founders left been losing money for last 2 yrs they got out and seems like they left a sinking ship so much for loving the brand cant blame avon

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  7. They haven't lost money!! It is what they say but not true!!! Best sells ever were last year! And I was there to celebrate!!! Just Avon sucking the all thing out.

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    Replies
    1. Liz Earle hasn't 'lost money' since the day they launched. It was a brilliant business model. That's the shame.

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  8. They not only lost money (£1.2 million before exceptionals), but sales were down 20% too.

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    Replies
    1. If they lost money its because they diverted costs etc and tried to run at a loss to justify redundancies (allegedly). That was a brilliant money-making business.

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    2. Agreed!! Again I was there last year and it was best sales ever!!! Avon just turns things up so it works in their favour...
      Big company do whatever they want, it makes me feel sick...

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    3. They set up a lot of bricks and mortar counters over the last few years, which hugely ups your costs. It always seemed a bit weird to me - it'd be like Amazon deciding to move into selling books on the High Street.

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    4. You don't have to show the costs of setting up the store in the Profit and Loss account - there's creative ways of spreading the cost over several years or putting the costs as assets on the balance sheet.

      The company isn't in bad shape - it just isn't a super profitable money making machine - sales of £35million and a loss of £1.2 million. The obvious solution is to "trim the fat", by reducing overstaffing at the HQ.

      The highest paid director in 2011 (I assume Liz?) earned £447,500. Not bad if she only worked 25 days a year as suggested, but hard to maintain that sort of pay packet when the company is losing money and laying off workers.

      I wonder how effective the new stores are at increasing turnover - we'll see the effects of that when they report figures next year.

      Liz Earle to date has largely been a direct retail business - selling via its website or QVC to customers (and now high street stores). The company doesn't have much UK distribution yet, so the move into Boots is interesting - hopefully they can maintain a decent margin.

      There's also scope to cut costs in the sourcing of ingredients and packaging - there have been some inefficiencies in the past.

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    5. It's not the costs of setting up the stores I'm thinking of, which might be capitalised - it's the retail staff costs and renting the space in the stores (both are running costs, no way around that), plus storage of stock at lots of different locations. Having one or two sales assistants making a sale every hour or two is also a less cost-efficient way of shifting product than selling through a webstore.

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    6. Yes, you're quite right. The running cost of the stores (and depreciation) will be in the P&L. What we don't know is the cash position - opening and running stores will be burning a lot of cash.

      Neals Yard had a fairly torrid time running stores and losing money, so would be interesting if LE can avoid their mistakes. Organic Pharmacy on the other hand is quite profitable - although they have substantially higher price points.

      Just seen that bizarre attack on Caroline from someone who I'd stick my neck out to say works at LE. Reputation / crisis PR obviously isn't a skill they have in-house.

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    7. Organic Pharmacy skincare I have tried and I have to say their ingredients albeit natural/organic does not justify the price points.

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    8. I'd agree with you that Organic Pharmacy pricing is a bit out there - at the stratospheric end of the pricing scale!

      Next time you are in a store, ask them which products are actually organic - last time I did that, they claimed all of them were (they certainly aren't!) and pulled out a Soil Association certificate from under the counter to prove it.

      (It was Neal's Yard who told me they'd do that, but surprised it went down as predicted....almost as if OP staff are trained to deceive!)

      Actually, i was wrong about Organic Pharmacy - despite high price points they lost £150K last year. Neal's Yard made £1 million, which is a big improvement.

      Ren is more profitable than OP, LE & NYR put together - and they closed their only store over ten years ago.

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  9. As I always say all is fair in love war and business. Lets me honest if a big company came to any one of us wanting to buy your company, we would all go for it- I would,but I would have some sort of clause in place like: I manage the company throughout its entirity as well as the staff. End of. HOWEVER I do feel for those peeps who are facing job losses. Geeta Sood

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    Replies
    1. I would absolutely have sold - maybe not to Avon - but I would have sold! :)

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  10. I agree with Korben, since buyong from Liz Earle 10 years ago- I rarely do now not even the tsv's I have noticed more offers monthly, free p&P etc. I had the same feeling the company is not doing so well since their sale to Avon. Sice their sale to them the Liz Earle 'magic' seems to have gone.
    Geeta

    BTW Caroline did you get my email about the upcoming of my skincare line- So Pure Skincare?

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    Replies
    1. I think so! I get a lot of emails. Sorry!

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    2. I do appreciate you are busy Lady Caroline, (bows down). Totally agree would have never sold out to Avon their ethics, are so like chalk and cheese!!! Could of sold to Aura Soma howver they are more clean than LE make out to be I mean you do not have to be a rocket scientist to decipher theit ingredients listings! Geeta X

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  11. This is horrible news & it makes me sad when the beauty industry is eaten up by the cosmetic giants out there.
    When I first heard about Avon taking over Liz Earle I knew it wouldn't be a good thing. This only confirms it.

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  12. I find your ‘joke’ regarding living on the Isle of Wight somewhat offensive…
    For your information the Isle of Wight is the largest island in England and I do wonder if you are really that naive to believe that everyone in Brighton, Bolton or the Isle of Wight knows one another.
    Not only does the island have many holiday resorts but also the island's maritime and industrial history encompasses boat building, sail making, the manufacture of flying boats, the world's first hovercraft and the testing and development of Britain's space rockets.
    The Isle of Wight is its own county & therefore has its own council, police services, hospitals, schools etc etc with also several ferry services also operating across the Solent regularly and travel connections.. It is home to the Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival, Bestival and the Isle of Wight Festival, The island has some exceptional wildlife, heritage and is one of the richest locations of dinosaur fossils in Europe.
    I find it hard to believe that you would ‘joke’ that over 140,000 people (your figures) either work at liz earle (a company which employs 600 people) or are chambemaids’…are the other 139,400 people chambermaids or unemployed maybe?
    I think you will also find that much of your information about Liz Earles current situation is infact very incorrect aswell, in your own words “when it's people losing their livelihood” maybe you should check your information and be a little more sensitive.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Firstly, I would apologise for the offense taken and thank you for the history lesson (albeit unnecessary). The figure of 140,000 comes from official population listings.

      I personally feel that it is abundantly clear that I am on the side of the people of the Island and am unsure as to why that joke (however inappropriate you feel it is) is the focus of your reply. I am very much not the enemy in this scenario.

      My information is to my knowledge - correct. I did as much fact checking as possible. There is far more that I have been made aware of that I didn't publish out of respect and sensitivity for the people still working there. If you, or LE Beauty Companies (assuming you are not one and the same) would like to give any other information or release any statements by all means do. I'm sure everyone would love to know the truth and the current employees would like to know where they all stand.

      I would politely suggest that your anger is somewhat misdirected on this occasion. If you love the Island - as it would appear that you do - I would have the conversation with Liz Earle and Avon, not me.

      Delete
  13. Gutted to read all this! I personally feel conned in to buying Liz Earle now. I often bought after her 'hard sell' on QVC. I had no idea that the company was bought over. Listening to her often promoting the products she gave the impression that she oversaw every single little thing, and worked daily on the products looking for the 'best' ingredients......I really bought into the hype and thought she was a workaholic from what she said! I am now but of by the brand name Liz Earle.

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  14. I feel a little feel conned too... Only just heard that Avon had took over Liz Earle can not get over it.. I have used LE for years and want to stick with it because I believe it in, but is it going to change? Are the ingredients going to be the best still. To the lady upset that Liz fooled you on QVC.. I don't believe she has. She has always been passionate about her products& that's why I probably will stay for her name sake! But to Liz Earle 'new' big wigs I plead with you not to lose the Liz Earle magic please... It has a special place in alot of people's hearts .. No more so than your employees I imagine!!

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  15. Such as shame as Liz WAS the brand and her approach and involvement retained the customer.

    You have to go where the money is so I don't blame the sale to a large organisation. Though from their point of view they will need to retain as much LE contact from a PR point of view, and so I suspect there will be a clause someone which prevents a public announcement that she has resigned.

    DJ

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    Replies
    1. Any other products brought out will obviously be from Avon & not Liz Earle, they will just be using her name. She should never have sold, at the end of the day this show to me a customer who regulary bought from this range that it was more about making money for herself. Maybe she got too big too soon but selling to Avon!!!

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  16. Avon to cut to 1500 jobs
    http://online.wsj.com/article/AP6785d4253a86483e8e748cd8d3c1d942.html

    Whatever the press release said I don't think this is the end of it for the loyal employees on the island. There are whole departments, eg IT and Fulfilment with no jobs at risk YET - surprise, surprise that's where all the money comes from at xmas. Sorry but wait for the New Year, it will only get worse.

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  17. OMG - I never knew about this - they kept that quiet. No wonder I did think QVC were not flogging Liz Earle as much - I bet Avon will get them harder payment options. Thanks for the headsup! PS love the blog

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  18. Consolidation... my a..s!!
    The company is doing very well (even had a chef cooking for the staffs lunch before, they have spent a fortune in lots of things like that) but AVON is deciding to use external agencies for every single things... revolting!!! A nice way to keep our UK workers isn't it?
    Also just few days before xmas... Some full departments have been cleared up. People have been asked to leave the company few days ago and again today!!! It makes me feel sick! Really... just before xmas... how nice!! I used to worked with these people and I feel really upset...
    Please, don't buy anything anymore from this company, this is not Liz Earle anymore but AVON... a multinational company who doesn't care about people and quality, just about profit!!!
    End of an era...

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  19. its a business of course they care about profit

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  20. Wow, it seems like I have totally missed this one, I thought that Liz had just taken a back seat not sold up lock stock and two...... I have been using LE products for years because I loved the ethos and the quality of the products. I do not use Avon products and wonder if the quality will remain the same and if the ingredients will be the same. Such a shame as I think Liz 'WAS@ the company.

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  21. I've been using the product for years, the cleanser being a must have. However, having read this (I wasn't aware of the buy out till now) the products I have will be the last. Part of my enjoyment in the product was that I was buying British, supporting jobs in the IoW. I feel a little duped and am sure that now the quality will deteriorate as will my pleasure in using. Such a shame.

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  22. I am also shocked by this news, regularly buy LE products and feel very conned by the fact that this is not publicly known. I don't recall seeing anything about Avon on any of the products, paperwork (invoices etc) or website. I never buy Avon products as don't feel the quality is there, I so hope they don't start cutting the quality of LE products. I may start looking at alternative products which is a shame as I have been loyal to LE and my whole skin care and cosmetic range is LE.

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    Replies
    1. I too have used LE for a number of years and didn't know anything about this. I will certainly be changing my skin care products

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  23. Bought LE products for years, because they state no testing on animals which is very important to me and they still have bunny logo on products, only to find that company sold out to AVON (2010) which DOES animal testing and has been asked to stop using "Bunny logo" as not endorsed as cruelty free . Where exactly does LE company stand now ? seems less than honest to advertise as cruelty free when owned by globsl company that is not. No indication on website or magazine which still implies Liz with her ethical values " at the helm"dispite fact she has left. Im afraid I wont buy again as I dont trust AVON.

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  24. Does this mean Avon will be selling Liz Earle on the doorstep. Shame if it does. Don't think I will buy any more now.

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  25. Have just read in the Daily Mail that LE is owned by Avon. They certainly kept that quiet on QVC! Still promoting the brand as a "family" all based on the I.O.W. Feel really conned. Will be changing to another skin care range. Cleanse and Polish CAN be bettered by other brands. No wonder they give away so many freebies when you order, desperate to keep customers now that the secret is out.

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  26. I have only just found out Liz Earle has sold out to Avon and cannot believe it, feel conned and very let down! Shall not be buying anymore and will be researching to find another brand to use. The same thing happened with the Body Shop when Anita Roddick sold that, the products where not the same after that so stopped using them. The fact that it has been kept so quiet just shows they must of known how people would feel when they found out.

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  27. Hey Caroline, great news after less than 14 months Julie TartareSauce (the lady brought in by Avon to replace the founders) has been sack from Liz Earle. Well the official email said something about being promoted to head up Avon in the Philippines, yeah whatever. Having wrecked the lives and confidence of many of the best people who were at the company, and probably setting the record for signing the most employee compromise agreements by any CEO in a 12 months period. She has got her comeuppance. Good riddance, let's just hope she hasn't left to much lasting damage to the people that remain and the Brand.

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  28. I was also an avid user of Liz Earle and loved the products and everything they stood for...until i heard this!
    Fortunately i have found a new brand whose products are Vegan Certified,don't contain mineral oil and are of Swiss heritage which means Ultra Premium,they also have a business model attached to them so i am now earning an extra income by recommending them to people,which is what i used to do with LE but without a monthly pay cheque!
    Every cloud...

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  29. Michelle Rafferty27 November 2013 01:27

    I have just found out about LE I am shocked
    if anyone can recommend an alternative to LE
    or any good vegan skin care and makeup products I would be very grateful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can always turn to Neals Yard Remedies, Organic English owned company (made in Dorset) I have been with LE for more than ten years but the thought of AVON being involved has changed my views. I have tried the new Tropic range and found it's not bad, then I found NYR 'Wonderfu'l their ingredients are high quality and organic they use a lot of expensive essential oils (Rose, Frankincense) and their honey range is wonderul. You can also become a consultant and sell to your friends, this way you can make some money and become part of the buisness. I hope that AVON are going to become good students and learn from Liz so that their products can be improved Time will tell

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  30. I have used Liz Earle from her first appearance on QVC (pink packaging and all that!). Have loved her gentle but effective products which were great for my sensitive skin. My loyalty wobbled a bit when I heard of the Avon takeover, but I stuck with it in the hope that the quality of ingredients would not suffer. I have seen various money saving cuts taking place over the last year, i.e. Beauty Insider replacing the old brochures but now even that has diminished to a folded sheet of card. I can understand them making this saving - it didn't affect quality of product. Then I noticed a few other subtle changes - the smell of Skin Repair seemed to change, the men's muslin cloths with maroon edge were discontinued, several favourite products of mine discontinued, i.e. the Vital Oils sprays and bath oils. I was now getting suspicious of what was going on. Last night was the last straw for me. I always keep a good stash of LE products as I never wanted to run out, so after cleansing with C&P, I needed to open a new bottle of Instant Boost Skin Tonic. Soaked my cotton pad in it and applied to my face as usual. I suddenly noticed it smelled slightly different, a more heavy smell. I also noticed that my skin felt more tight and papery, not soothed, glowing and plumped as usual. I looked at the bottle to compare the ingredients with the bottle I had just finished, and there it is: the first thing I see is that the aloe vera is no longer organic. I now wonder how many other ingredients are not organic. Using non organic stuff is hugely cheaper for them, thus making more profit because they certainly have not reduced their prices to reflect this. Also for people like me with sensitive, rosacea skin the quality and purity of product is paramount. Needless to say I've had a sleepless night! After 18 loyal years with the brand, I feel that I can no longer trust it. They are making changes to product without informing us. Crafty I say. So am now on the search for a replacement. Thank you for those of you who have suggested alternatives above. I will check them out.

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  31. I have been a Liz Earle devotee for many years and really don't know where I have been to miss this! I feel absolutely duped and disappointed following an innocent conversation at work today about skincare. Very sad :(

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