David Yurman has made considerable layoffs to its corporate division in recent weeks. The company reduced its headcount by 98 people, a decision following near-companywide furloughs in April.
In a document filed with the New York Department of Labor, Yurman detailed its staff cuts — which took effect starting June 30 — as the result of “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”
A Yurman spokesperson commented: “In light of the unforeseen circumstances due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, David Yurman, like many others in the retail industry, has made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce. This has resulted in the lay[ing] off of 98 corporate employees, primarily affecting our marketing, product development, engineering and finance departments. These challenging decisions were made in order to ensure a healthy business for the future.” The company declined to comment further on the layoffs, including what percentage they represented of the company’s overall corporate workforce.
The cuts follow the company’s extensive furloughs in April, which saw a majority of its corporate and retail headcount temporarily reduced. At the same time, the company donated $1 million to coronavirus-related charities through its foundation. Employees who were furloughed received health insurance benefits while out of work. The company declined to comment on the fate of its remaining furloughed employees, if any.
“These actions will enable us to recover after this pandemic, so we can reopen our doors to our valued employees and clients,” the Yurman family said at the time in a group statement.
But in the months since, the virus’ acceleration across parts of the U.S. has created business disruptions unforeseen at the time of the company’s original furloughs.
As the U.S.’ coronavirus crisis continues to spiral, many big jewelers have shifted their global operations with an increased focus on markets that are fully reopened, such as parts of Asia and Europe. Yurman, however, relies on the U.S. for 90 percent of its global sales and is unable to adjust its activities like some of its competitors.
Prior to the coronavirus shutdown, the jeweler opened a glitzy New York flagship on 57th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The store, which officially opened in December, is currently open for shopping.
David Yurman is also an active participant in the big Couture fine jewelry trade show in Las Vegas, which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 crisis — drying up a large source of wholesale revenue for many of jewelry’s big players.