THE party firm run by the Duchess of Cambridge’s mum yesterday axed half of its staff amid fears over its future.
Three employees were made redundant by Carole Middleton – who has credited children Kate, Pippa and James for its “success”.
A fourth worker was told their job was on the line.
One shocked insider told The Sun: “There is a terrible air of doom and gloom about the place.”
The firm – slogan ‘magical parties for over 30 years’ – was set up in 1987 by Mrs Middleton, 54, and hubby Michael, 69.
But business has struggled recently– and last year Mrs Middleton broke a 15-year media black-out to give an interview about Party Pieces which was viewed as a bid to drum up much-needed interest and potential investors.
She had declined numerous media requests in an apparent bid to maintain the privacy of her royal daughter Kate, 37, son-in-law Prince William, 36, and their young family.
Given the chop yesterday were the company’s web designer, PR agent and search engine optimization wizard.
Another employee – in charge of social media – was told their job is under threat.
‘MORALE IS AT ROCK BOTTOM’
Insiders told how in recent months, rather than stocking the warehouse and posting out goods on demand, products are only ordered in as required.
In addition to the latest job losses, three warehouse workers were axed just before Christmas.
But weeks later, when orders briefly picked up, agency staff had to be recruited to replace them.
An insider said: “Despite it being a party company, there wasn’t so much as a Christmas tree or festive decorations in the office. Morale is at rock bottom.”
The idea for Party Pieces came from Mrs Middleton’s personal need for supplies for her own children’s parties.
A FAMILY BUSINESS
On the company website Mrs Middleton is pictured and talks about her children in a message to customers.
She says: “It’s always been a family business and all the children have played a part.
“James established our personalised photo cakes, Catherine started the 1st birthday side of the business, and Pippa developed the Party Pieces blog.”
The firm was blasted in reviews posted online and has a “bad” rating with an average score of just 2.1 out of ten.
In her magazine interview last year Mrs Middleton told how her children give her advice on her party business.
She said: “Because they all grew up with me working, Party Pieces has been very much part of our lives and what we talked about. I still ask their advice and say ‘What do you think of this?’”
It’s not the only family firm to be suffering, James Middleton’s personalised greeting card firm Boomf recorded losses of £3million between 2015 and 2018.
Last night a spokesperson for Party Pieces told The Sun: “Party Pieces owes a duty of confidentially to its employees and cannot comment on speculation.
“We can confirm the business is currently working on an exciting development partnership and long term growth strategy, and as part of this process the company’s structure is being reviewed to align with its financial targets, in consultation with its staff.”
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