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01/09/2023

Morphe Cosmetics Closing All Retail Stores in the U.S.

In a tweet, the beauty retailer announced it would close all 18 of its stores in the U.S. as it refocuses on its e-commerce business.
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A Morphe store in a mall.
  • Morphe Cosmetics is closing all of its stores in the U.S.
  • The beauty retailer still has stores in Canada, Australia and the U.K., and it says it will focus on its e-commerce business and wholesale relationships in the U.S. moving forward.
  • Morphe built a brand largely through its partnerships with influencers, though its partnerships led to controversy for the brand. 

Morphe will close all 18 of its retail stores in the U.S. as it shifts its focus to its wholesale partnerships and e-commerce, the retailer announced in a tweet. 

“We have made the difficult decision to close all Morphe stores in the U.S.,” the tweet said. “We are forever grateful to our store teams for their passion, talent and dedication over the years.” 

In a subsequent post, the retailer said customers could continue to shop Morphe’s products, which include makeup brushes and tools, and other makeup and skincare items, on its website and at its retail partners. Morphe still has retail stores in the U.K., Australia and Canada, according to its website
Morphe is owned by Forma Brands, which did not return Retail Leader’s request for comments regarding the layoffs, but it told Insider that the decision to close its 18 retail stores in the U.S. is part of its plans to focus on its e-commerce business and wholesale distribution.

"We believe this shift will position Morphe to better compete in the broader beauty landscape and more efficiently reach our customers where and how they shop," a Forma Brands spokesperson told the news outlet. "Connecting with consumers around the world through beauty stands at the center of everything we do, and while we have loved welcoming customers into our stores, we look forward to focusing on the foundational areas of our business, including our wholesale partnerships, robust e-commerce footprint and innovative brand marketing strategy."

As NBC News reported, Morphe’s decision to publicly announce its store closures in the U.S. followed several popular posts on social-media platforms, including TikTok, from Morphe employees who called out the beauty retailer for how it had communicated layoffs and store closures to employees.    

Morphe built a reputation largely with young people through its relationships with popular beauty creators and influencers, like James Charles and Jeffree Star. But those relationships eventually soured for the retailer and caused controversy for Morphe. The brand cut ties with Star in 2020 and winded down its partnership with Charles in 2021. Morphe built large online followings across YouTube and Reddit, but as The New York Times reported, the brand has largely failed to develop a larger recognition.