US jewellery retailer Stella & Dot is quitting the UK and Europe in a move dealing a blow to thousands of self-employed sales representatives.
The firm, which sells its jewellery and accessories through a 4,000-strong army of women across Europe, blamed the recent declines in the value of the pound and euro as well as rising costs for the move.
It will bring an end to a seven-year tenure in Britain, with the San Francisco group having launched in the UK in 2011.
In an email to its “stylists”, founder and chief executive Jessica Herrin said: “It is with a heavy heart that I announce we will be exiting the European market.
“Sadly, the market conditions in Europe have become very difficult. In the last few years, the British pound and euro have devalued against the US dollar by almost 20%, causing a deep decline in our margin, while at the same time operating costs increased.”
She added the “once profitable European business has been operating at a loss” and said the decision had been made given the ongoing uncertain outlook.
Sales representatives across Europe can still sell Stella & Dot products and earn commission until April 7.
Many of Stella & Dot’s sales representatives will be losing their businesses or second incomes through the decision.
The group claims its European stylists have collectively earned over 11 million euros (£9.9 million) in commission since 2011.
The stylists working for Stella & Dot sell its designer jewellery and accessories at home or at office gatherings and online via their own personalised web shops.
It has thousands more sales reps across the US and Canada, having first launched in America in 2003.
Stella & Dot was not immediately available for comment.