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Tupperware Says Adios to Its Last US Factory

Tupperware is permanently shutting down its last standing US production plant in Hemingway, SC. A total of 148 workers will be laid off in waves starting September 28, 2024, through Jan. 14, 2025, the company disclosed in its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed on June 11. Production will shift to a Tupperware plant in Lerma, Mexico, which already produces most of the products for the US and Canadian markets, the company told media outlets.

The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise — just over a year ago, we published an article titled, “Is the Party Over for Tupperware?” At that time, Tupperware announced that it had hired financial advisors to, in its words, remediate doubts regarding its ability to continue as a growing concern. Moving manufacturing to Mexico, apparently, is part of a survival strategy.

This latest news follows a tumultuous few months for the company, which has included sales of real estate in the United States and abroad, and a non-compliance notification from the New York Stock Exchange in April of this year because it delayed filing its annual report for 2023. Tupperware has six months starting from March 29, 2024, to file the form and regain compliance.

In addition to deep financial challenges — its debt burden is unsustainable, according to media reports — Tupperware has altered its business model from direct sales and “Tupperware parties,” which took a beating during COVID-era lockdowns, to distribution deals with Target and other retail outlets. Sidelining the multi-level marketing approach, which has been core to the brand’s identity for decades, further isolates Tupperware and removes it from conversations, although it may not have had a choice in the matter.

“The reality is that [Tupperware] must adapt to a new business landscape post-pandemic, all while handling a debt burden with crushing interest payments,” according to analysis from Seeking Alpha published at the end of last year.

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