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Sally Beauty announces layoffs at corporate headquarters in Denton

Sally Beauty Supply has laid off employees at its corporate headquarters in Denton, though officials declined to say officially how many people were let go.

The company, which is publicly traded, announced Wednesday afternoon its board of directors approved a plan to cut costs. The first step of the new plan included “headcount reductions, primarily at its corporate headquarters in Denton,” according to a company press release.

The cost reduction plan expands on previous plans announced in 2017 and again in November that “reflects the company’s continued focus on streamlining operations and improving efficiencies in order to drive long-term profitable growth,” the statement read.

Sally Beauty Supply is a multinational corporation based in Denton. According to the company’s website, Sally Beauty employs more than 27,000 people, either full-time or part-time, in 13 countries. The company distributes beauty supplies directly to professionals, online and through its stores, some of which are franchised.

The news did not surprise some business professionals who had been following the company closely for the past few years.

For the first quarter of 2018, company officials reported net sales had decreased 0.5 percent compared to the prior year. Same store sales also decreased 2.2 percent. Hurricanes disrupted operations in 2017 and continued to impact business in Puerto Rico, officials said.

Last year, the company announced a restructuring plan that was expected to save $19 million annually once it completed all of the initiatives in the plan. The latest cost reduction plan anticipated about $16 million in costs related to employee layoffs but ultimately saving the company about $15 million annually.

Sally Beauty Supply is among Denton’s largest private employers. The press release did not say how many of the 950 people who work in Denton would be laid off. No advance notification of layoffs was sent to the Texas Workforce Commission, according to state records. A former employee told the Denton Record-Chronicle the company’s entire leasing division was shuttered this week and as many as 200 people would be let go, but company spokesman Jeff Harkins refused to confirm or deny that report.

Instead, Harkins deferred to the press release, which was issued after the markets closed Wednesday. The company’s stock closed at $16.03 per share Wednesday, slightly higher than it closed Tuesday but down from a high of $21 per share in August 2017.

Last year, the Denton City Council agreed to pay economic incentives to Sally Beauty Supply to expand its offices on Morse Street.

The incentive agreement requires both a minimum increase in the office building’s property value and the number and average wages of the people working in the building.

The city has not yet made any payments under that new agreement, according to Caroline Booth, Denton’s economic development director.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881.