Ear Hustle

Johnson Publishing Fashion Fair President Amy Hilliard Leaves The Company With Just Shy Of Two Years On The Job

WOW!! Looks like things are not going to Rex well for the Johnson Publishing Company. Some people have left and now it seems like the Fashion Fair area is feeling some of the exodus winds.

It’d EarHustle411 hopes the company can bounce back quickly while still bringing the masses summer.

Read more as reported by the Chicago Suntimes:

Fashion Fair President Amy Hilliard has resigned, exiting the Johnson Publishing cosmetics company less than two years into the job.

Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers said that the company wouldn’t hire a new president but that she would focus more of her own time on the business, along with other top executives she promoted today, effective tomorrow.

“I’m very excited about the new team that I’m putting in place,” Rogers said. “Our sales in the past two months have been moving in the right direction.”

Still, Rogers acknowledged that revenue for the company overall this year would not be higher than last year. She declined to provide specifics on revenue or profits for the privately held company.


photo credit: Crain’s Business

Hilliard, 63, leaves a 42-year-old brand that has been struggling to maintain its appeal amid increased competition and operational snags. She was appointed to the top post at the Chicago-based cosmetics company in February 2014, but has had a low public profile since then. Although she has left the company already, her last day officially is Dec. 24, she said.

Fashion Fair was created in 1973 by Johnson Publishing founder John Johnson and his wife, Eunice, to cater to “women of color” at a time when other American beauty companies were less interested in the customers. Today, however, most rivals court all women and have developed diversified product lines for that effort.

Parent company Johnson Publishing also has struggled as part of a broader print industry downturn caused by the advertiser and consumer migration to digital alternatives. It publishes the monthly Ebony magazine and has a digital presence with Ebony and Jet. The latter, formerly a print weekly, is now online only.

Johnson Publishing is led by the Johnsons’ daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, who is chairman of the company.

In addition to increased competition, Fashion Fair has grappled with operational difficulties lately, including low inventory and slow trafficer at recently revamped Fashion Fair counters in department stores. Still, Rogers said that in the past two months, sales have risen, topping results last year.

Hilliard said in an interview that she was resigning to return to work for her own Chicago-based consulting firm. She skirted questions about Fashion Fair challenges. She said the decision to exit was hers.

“Fashion Fair is a wonderful brand and it has a very loyal following, so I think people are very excited about the future for Fashion Fair,” she said. “You have to keep being out there and keep talking to your consumers, and that’s srwhat Fashion Fair is doing.”

Rogers said the company began to resolve some of the problems last week by eliminating about 15 percent of the brand’s products that have the lowest sales. “We’re making fixes to the business,” she said, noting that she’s “bullish” about 2016.

Rogers said recent promotions will elevate executives with extensive experience in the industry. Fashion Fair is promoting Karyn Pettigrew to executive vice president, from her current role as director of marketing, and Marcelle Burke to director of sales, from her role as account executive, to manage the brand’s retail relationships. The company also said the vice president of sales, Chris Thomas, is departing.

Source: Crain’s Chicago Business

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