Shiseido offers early retirement to 1,500 staff as part of ‘transformation plan’

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 1-Mar-2024

The early retirement incentive, part of the beauty giant’s wider structural reform plan, is open to employees in Japan who meet certain criteria

Shiseido is offering employees early retirement as part of its new business transformation plan ‘Mirai Shift Nippon 2025’.

The early retirement incentive plan will be offered to around 1,500 staff in Japan who meet certain age and tenure requirements, representing about 3.7% of its employees worldwide.

The measure is part of an overarching mission to “achieve sustainable growth and improved profitability” for the Japanese beauty conglomerate. 

Shiseido has been hit hard by China’s sluggish recovery post-pandemic, reporting a nearly 40% slump in 2023 earnings, with operating profits dropping to ¥28.1bn from ¥46.5bn. 

“After Covid-19, and with the Japanese economy starting to recover, there has been an increase in opportunities to examine new career options,” read a statement from Shiseido.

“While reconsidering factors such as working styles and life plans.

“Amidst that background, Shiseido Japan will implement significant reforms, which will support those employees exploring alternative opportunities beyond the company.” 

Shiseido is adding unspecified “additional benefits” to the plan, as well as reemployment support to employees “who wish to utilise the experience and skills gained at Shiseido Japan in their next career”.

Applications for the scheme are open from 17 April to 8 May, with a suggested retirement date of 30 September.

What does Shiseido’s Mirai Shift Nippon plan cover?

Mirai Shift Nippon – which roughly translates to ‘Future ft Japan’ – is a structural reform of the Japanese business initiated by Shiseido President and COO Kentaro Fujiwara, who is also serving as President and CEO of Shiseido Japan.

The plan consists of three pillars of focus – sustainable growth, building a profitable foundation and human capital transformation. 

Shiseido is aiming to cut costs by around ¥25bn over the next two years by “optimising efficiency – in terms of cost of goods sold, marketing investments and other expenses”. 

It is also focused on leveraging the company’s technological advantages and R&D capabilities to “enhance” its brands, while also developing in new markets.

NARS, Drunk Elephant, Anessa and Elixir all sit within its portfolio, as well as eponymous brand Shiseido. 

“To achieve sustainable growth, Shiseido Japan will concentrate its activities on brands, products and touchpoints with high growth potential and profitability,” read a statement from the company. 

“Strengthening brand and touchpoint strategy.”  

Shiseido is not the only beauty giant affected by the challenges in China and Asia’s travel retail segment.

Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is looking to cut nearly 3,100 jobs as it accelerates its financial recovery plan.

Although ELC will incur restructuring charges of up to US$700m, the company expects to bolster profits and reduce overhead expenses in the long term. 

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