THE threat of job losses hangs over the heads of more than 300 employees at a Wiltshire beauty products company.
The Chinese-owned cosmetics company Meiyume (UK) Ltd is poised to consult up to 311 people on redundancy at its Trowbridge manufacturing plant.
But up to 58 jobs will be cut.
An anonymous employee said that Meiyume, which owns LF Beauty (UK) Ltd on the White Horse Business Park, is likely to announce the redundancies in March.
The informant said: “Meiyume has announced redundancy plans from March. Looking at a massive downturn in production.”
The company employs more than 730 people in the UK. It has a factory and offices in Aintree Avenue, Trowbridge.
Meiyume makes and supplies cosmetics and toiletries, including haircare, fragrances, skincare and suncare, and other personal care products for the UK market.
Its list of customers includes some of the world’s biggest international beauty products brands, such as Burberry, Cartier, Christian Dior, Estee Lauder and Yves Saint Laurent.
It also supplies beauty products to some of the UK’s biggest retailers, such as Avon, Boots, Crabtree & Evelyn, Marks & Spencer, Superdrug, Tesco and Unilever.
A Meiyume spokesperson said: “Meiyume (UK) Ltd has announced a potential redundancy proposal, a decision which will impact 311 employees and potentially result in up to 58 redundancies from our site located in Trowbridge.
“This proposal has followed a detailed review and analysis of our Trowbridge business. As we all know, the market has been very challenging in recent years due to a combination of factors.
“Whilst we are starting to see some positive indications for the longer term as the cost-of-living crisis continues, we have sadly seen a decline in customer demand which has significantly impacted on 2023 sales and volumes.
“As a result, we have unfortunately been unable to secure significant new business and we believe that the market is likely to remain volatile for some time.
“Meiyume will now be entering into a period of formal collective consultation with all employees affected by the proposal.
“It is regrettable that we find ourselves in this position, particularly at a time when many are experiencing financial difficulties.
“However, we are committed to carrying out a full and fair process with our employees to ensure that if a decision is made to proceed with redundancies any effects of redundancy will be mitigated.
“Where possible, we will also engage with other local businesses to attempt to secure employment for everyone.”
Ben Pidgeon, president of Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce, said the announcement was “more bad news” for the town following the recent closure of The Tech Lab in Fore Street.
“It’s a great shame for the town that employees of another business are under the threat of redundancy. It just puts more pressure on the people within the town who are out of work.
“It’s a shame that more people are potentially going to be out of work. It’s just hard times for everyone at the moment with the cost-of-living crisis and the cost of energy going up.”
The company’s name ‘Mei’ means beauty and ‘Yume’ means dream. Meiyume (UK) Ltd was incorporated in 1950 and acquired LF Beauty (UK) Ltd in 2018.
LF Beauty (UK) was formed in 1978 as PB Toiletries, part of the then Peter Black Group, which itself came into being in 1947 as a supplier to Marks and Spencer.
The business was founded in toilets for Marks and Spencer in Trowbridge and diversified into color cosmetics in Westbury in 1987 with the formation of PB Cosmetics.
During this time other customers were introduced. The new factory was commissioned in 1999 on the White Horse Business Park site.