- TikTokers are calling for justice for Morphe employees amid allegations of layoffs and empty stores.
- One former store manager told Insider her team was laid off days before their location closed.
- A rep for FORMA Brands, which owns Morphe, confirmed to Insider some US locations are closing.
Beauty brand Morphe, known for its affordable cosmetics and controversial influencer collaborations, seems to be undergoing major business changes — and retail employees say they’re the last to know.
In multiple videos posted to TikTok since late December, users who claim to be Morphe employees say they’ve been surprised by drastic sales and disappearing inventory at the stores where they work. And one former manager at a Morphe store told Insider that employees there were laid off days before the location closed.
In a statement emailed to Insider, a representative for FORMA Brands — the company that owns Morphe — confirmed that some US locations are closing, but did not share the number of stores. The statement cited “the broader beauty landscape throughout the last year” as the reason for the closures.
“Decisions that impact our people are incredibly difficult and we extend our deepest gratitude to the dedicated Morphe store team members at the closing stores for delivering outstanding beauty experiences to countless consumers over the years,” the statement said.
While the Morphe representative did not explain what broader industry headwinds the brand was facing, The New York Times reported in 2022 that the retailer had fallen from grace with Gen Z for its relationship with controversial influencers like Jeffree Star and James Charles and a shifting cultural interest in skin care over makeup.
On TikTok, some are calling for justice for Morphe retail employees
As of Tuesday, there are 19 videos with the hashtag “#justiceformorpheretailemployees” that have more than 3.6 million views collectively on TikTok.
In one video posted on Friday, makeup artist Sydney Kayla, who said she works at an Arizona location, claimed that she arrived for her shift only to find an empty store. Insider could not verify Kayla’s employment at the retailer, and she did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
“A day in the life of a Morphe makeup artist: So when I walked into my store this morning, it was completely empty — absolutely nothing except for foundations,” Kayla said in her video, which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times as of Tuesday.
Kayla also said she and other employees had “not received answers” as to whether or not their store would be closing.
A former manager said she and her team lost their jobs when the store closed — and were only given a few days warning
Former Morphe employee Dani Garza — whose employment has been verified by Insider — said she worked at a location in Austin, Texas, since August 2021, and made her way from assistant manager to store manager during her time at the company.
On December 22, she said, she and her team were told via Zoom that their last day of work would be December 26 when the store closed.
“It completely shook us and honestly ruined all of our holidays,” Garza said. “None of us felt good because we knew that after Christmas, we just didn’t have jobs.”
She’s been documenting her experience on TikTok since, and her seven videos about Morphe have received just under one million views total as of Tuesday.
Other TikTokers claiming to have worked for Morphe say they noticed stores quietly closing over the past year.
As of Tuesday, Morphe’s website says there are 27 stores across the country. However, some locations appear to have been removed upon closing; Insider’s search for the store in Austin, where Garza said she worked, doesn’t appear on the website. When asked by Insider about this store in particular, the representative for FORMA Brands did not comment though their statement, cited above, acknowledged that some Morphe locations were closing.
Morphe has been selling its inventory at steep discounts, the former manager says
Speaking to Insider, Garza noted that Morphe had been offering major sales since she started working at the store, with consistent increases in discounts over time. Holidays sales at Morphe this year, for example, started in October, she said.
But as Garza says she learned from a colleague, discounts at Morphe weren’t the norm prior to the pandemic. The lack of inventory was also concerning, she said. Garza’s store would usually receive shipments every week or two weeks depending on the season, she said, but in December 2022 she noticed that the shipments had stopped coming.
“I had actually called my district manager freaking out about it because we were completely out of eye-shadow palettes, which is what Morphe is known for,” Garza said. “We were out of brush sets — which are a very giftable item — while we’re in the holiday season.”
Though Garza said she was reassured by her district manager that a shipment was on the way, she said she learned the following day that she’d be without a job that same week.
“Prior to this, I would have said Morphe was the best company that I’ve worked for,” Garza said, noting that she loved the company culture and her colleagues. “I don’t know what the future is, but it doesn’t look good.”
Are you a current or former Morphe employee? Insider would love to hear from you. Reach us at [email protected].