Weight-loss empire Jenny Craig has announced it is ceasing operations across its Australian and New Zealand companies.
About 550 consultants employed by the local branches will be made redundant after administrators failed to secure a buyer.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Jenny Craig collapses after liquidators fail to sell.
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Liquidators were appointed to sell the Australian and New Zealand companies, just a month after the US company closed its doors.
Four of the 15 potential buyers submitted offers for the weight-loss program, but administrators Vaughan Strawbridge, Kate Warwick and Joseph Hansell of FTI Consulting, appointed on May 9, were unable to find buyers for the physical stores and employees.
“The administrators have today advised all of the employees in Australia New Zealand that a sale of the business with the stores continuing to trade and staff continuing their employment has not been achievable,” FTI Consulting said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This has resulted in a decision to immediately cease trading from stores and employees being made redundant, which is an unfortunate outcome and one which the administrators had sought to avoid.”
The online capability of the business will be sold on to a healthcare technology company called Eucalyptus, “which will continue to offer online weight loss solutions to customers,” FTI confirmed.
The US counterpart collapsed in May and employees were told via email that the closure was “due to its inability to secure additional financing”.
A spokesperson for Jenny Craig Australia and New Zealand told 7NEWS.com.au in a statement at the time that it would not be closing: “While this is unfortunate news for our colleagues in the USA, the Jenny Craig operations here in Australia and New Zealand do act independently.”
However, the empire’s struggles to transition from a brick and mortar model to e-commerce were not bound by borders, and the second creditors meeting next Wednesday will place the Australian and New Zealand companies into liquidation.
But the digital dependency is not the only factor behind the empire’s fading relevance, an evolution of fitness culture, and accessibility of popular drugs used for rapid weight loss — like Ozempic — have created unprecedented competition for the iconic company.
Australian entrepreneur Jenny Craig founded the empire after she struggled to lose weight following the birth of her second child, and opened the first Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre with husband Sid Craig in Melbourne in 1983.
The program provided special menus designed by chefs and nutritionists to help consumers lose weight.
Over the years, the company has recruited celebrities to front the brand, including actors Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander, and singer-songwriter Mariah Carey.
Australian celebrities have also been recruited to act as the face of the brand, including Brendan Fevola, Jelena Dokic and most recently Casey Donovan.
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