Coronavirus sparks lay-offs at Basic Fun!

CEO Jay Foreman told the New York Post cuts are part of a “proactive” response to the pernicious impact of coronavirus, expected to hurt the firm’s sales by 20-30%

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 09.03.2020 | Business

Coronavirus sparks lay-offs at Basic Fun! thumbnail

Basic Fun! has let go around 10 per cent of its global workforce amid a slowdown in sales and supply chain disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to the New York Post, chief executive Jay Foreman says a perfect storm of factory closures in China and stripped back consumer spending around the world would contribute to an expected dip in sales of at least 20 per cent in the early half of 2020.

Sales could, in a worst case scenario, tumble by 30 per cent in the next six months, he said – news that was met with concern by the company’s lenders.

The staffing cuts were made to show the bank “we are being responsible”, Jay said, by reducing overheads and showing that the company was being “proactive” in its response to the outbreak’s impact on business.

Eighteen staff will be let go in total, half of which work out of the US, and the rest in satellite offices across China and Hong Kong, the company said.

No staff from the UK were mentioned in the report. Basic Fun! UK did not respond to request for comment.

The cuts come just weeks after the company relaunched the Tonka brand at New York Toy Fair. NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal was unveiled as the face of the brand’s reboot and made an appearance at the Javits to cut the ribbon and meet fans on the Basic Fun! stand.


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