Australian-founded weight loss giant Jenny Craig will shut down operations after 40 years in the nutrition industry.
In an email sent to US-based employees on Tuesday (local time), the company said it will close “due to its inability to secure additional funding”.
The company is understood to have amassed around US$250 million ($374 million) in debt, according to Bloomberg.
It is unclear if this will affect Jenny Craig’s Australian branch, which has been spruiked by celebrities like Magda Szubanski, Rebel Wilson and Mel B.
Jenny Craig, which was acquired by H.I.G Capital in 2019, currently employs 1,000 staff, with 500 company-owned and franchised outlets across the United States and Canada.
The company cited it was “winding down physical operations, likely transitioning to an e-commerce model” however Bloomberg reported some franchised locations may remain open.
The publication reported last month that Jenny Craig had been searching for a buyer and was weighing up bankruptcy if it failed to secure a deal.
The weight loss and nutrition giant was founded by Australian woman Jenny Craig and her husband Sidney in 1983.
But the business, which offers nutritionally balanced diet programs designed to help people lose weight, had been struggling of late amid the popularity of new weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy.
Last week Jenny Craig told NBC News it was embarking on “the next phase of our business to evolve with the changing landscape of today’s consumers”.
“Like many other companies, we’re currently transitioning from a brick-and-mortar retail business to a customer-friendly, e-commerce-driven model,” the company said.
“We will have more details to share in the coming weeks as our plans are solidified.”
It is unclear if Jenny Craig will continue its shift to an e-commerce model following the closure of its US operations, or if plans to transition are in place for its Australian and New Zealand branches.
Jenny Craig told SkyNews.com.au on Thursday operations in Australia and New Zealand act independently from the US.
“Here in Australia and New Zealand we currently continue to operate and support our clients,” the company said.
“As always, our priority is to continue providing the best possible service. We thank you for your continued patience and support during this time.”
News Source: www.skynews.com.au