Jenny Craig Is Going Out Of Business

May 4, 2023 / Posted by:

It’s the end of an era. Jenny Craig is shutting down after 40 years in the weight loss/diet culture game. NBC reports that the company has been on the hunt for a buyer for the past two weeks. Then, on Tuesday, employees received an email informing them that Jenny Craig will be closing “due to its inability to secure additional financing.” Hourly employees got the chop immediately, and corporate and salaried field employees’ last day will be tomorrow. The company told employees that they’ll receive their final paycheck, which will include all their unused paid off time, but it’s “highly unlikely” employees will receive severance pay. I hope you’re happy, Ozempic!

According to H.I.G Capital, the $55 billion private equity firm that bought the company in 2019, Jenny Craig operated about 500 company-owned and franchise stores in the U.S. and Canada. It employs more than 1,000 people. Last week, corporate employees at the company’s office in Carlsbad, California, received a WARN Act notice (Google tells me this is a “head’s up, mass layoffs are a’comin’!” warning) that the company would be closing their office on June 24, or as soon as Friday. Employees also received an FAQ explaining that Jenny Craig would switch over their physical business to an e-commerce model. Apparently, Jenny Craig consumers have already been ditching the in-person coaching in favor of the company’s online services in recent years. But after the most recent email on Tuesday, there’s no indication that the e-commerce plan will actually happen.

Two current-but-not-for-long Jenny Craig employees told NBC that they fear the company will file for bankruptcy by the end of the week. In the two weeks Jenny Craig has been on the hunt for a new buyer, it’s been running out of money faster than you can say, “Wait, Jenny Craig is a real person?” Yes, she’s the one in the header, and now she’s 90 years old. Real Jenny and her late husband, Sidney Craig, founded the company in Australia in 1983. They’re not Aussies; they were just living there at the time. In 1985, they brought their weight loss business to the U.S. The program provided special menus to help customers lose weight, and their celebrity spokespersons included Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinielli, Jason Alexander, and Mariah Carey (heh?). Recently, they hired ex-Vanderpump Rules star Brittany Cartwright:

Imagine going from Mariah Carey to Brittany Cartwright? We should have known they were in trouble! You know, I was just sassin’ about Ozempic, but, as we all know, there’s a kernel of truth in every joke. Jenny Craig faced tough competition from weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus. Also, and this is just my guess, now that there’s more awareness about how toxic diets are, maybe people were just over it. Tiny frozen meals for months, and then, the moment you ditch the program, you gain all the weight back? No thanks, Jenny.

So, rest in peace, Jenny Craig. I’ll always remember prank-calling your hotline with my friends when we were 10. We’d say, “Um, hi, is this Jenny Craig? I’m really fat”, before bursting into giggles and hanging up. Don’t worry; karma immediately slapped 50 pounds of puberty weight onto my little girl frame. Sigh. Fat-shaming never pays.

Pic: YouTube

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