Jacksonville-Based Venus Fashion Plans Approximately 120 Layoffs

Sep 3, 2020

Jacksonville-Based Venus Fashion has informed the state it plans to permanently lay off approximately 120 employees.

Whitney Russ, who is director of people and culture for Venus Fashion, told the state that the layoffs will be effective no earlier than Oct. 10, although the final separation date was still being determined.

Although Russ’ letter says approximately 120 employees will be let go, the job count provided to the state lists 133 positions. WJCT News has reached out to Venus Fashion, requesting a clarification on the number of layoffs. This story will be updated if a clarification is received.

As of 2018, Venus Fashion had approximately 1,000 employees, according to WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Venus Fashion, which sells women’s clothing, including swimwear, did not specify a reason for the layoffs. However, the retail industry at large has been hit hard by the pandemic-triggered recession.

The Venus brand dates back to the 1980s, when Daryle Scott created Venus Body Wear.

Although based in Jacksonville, the company was acquired the German-based Otto Group in 2009, according to the Daily Record.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.