Stab Magazine | No Surf Company Is Immune As Quiksilver Relieves A Majority Of Its Workforce
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No Surf Company Is Immune As Quiksilver Relieves A Majority Of Its Workforce

Because the Quiksilver HQ is in France, employees will hardly feel the impact of their mass job loss. 

news // Mar 28, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

You thought the 2008 recession was hard on the surf industry?

That was just a fire drill. What we’re seeing now is the true surf industry apocalypse, and though this pandemic does appear to have a short(ish) shelf life, the effects of these few crazy months will span for years, perhaps even a decade. 

But let’s just take this one day at a time. 

Stab has learned that this morning, Quiksilver’s European branch (which is also their HQ) laid off a majority of their staff. Meanwhile, those who remain (mostly executive-types) have opted to take large salary cuts or in some cases forfeit their entire pay until the company is back on track. 

It appears that Quiksilver is taking all the necessary measures to weather the storm, with every intention to rehire its workforce (or at least the majority of them) once the worst of this passes. 

The other positive note for Quik’s recently-jobless staff is that the company’s HQ is in France—and no, we’re not just saying that because they’ll have unlimited access to wine and cheese (the #1 meal of furloughed peoples globally).

As it turns out, France has tremendous unemployment benefits. From what we’ve gathered, folks who have been laid off by Quik will continue to collect up to 80% of their salaries (from the gov, not from the company) for the foreseeable future. So basically this is a paid, in-home vacation. I think just about anyone would raise their hand for that kind of “lay-off” if given the option. 

Keep in mind that this is just the case in Europe. As far as Quiksilver’s US and Australian operations are concerned, we have no official info on what transpired or how many people were cut, but it would make sense if the same furloughing principles applied across all borders. 

So, let’s assess the damage.

Volcom, Rip Curl, O’Neill’s clothing licensee, and now Quiksilver have all furloughed the majority of their workforce. These are the biggest brands in our little surfing world, and they’re taking the most drastic measures imaginable to keep a steady pulse. 

While we don’t actually know how long the virus will take to run its course, we can assume that it will be at least a couple of months before things return to relative normalcy. 

Will the industry land on its feet? Or will Kolohe Andino be banging nails in 2021?

Let’s just see what tomorrow brings. 

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