Iconic Brand Tupperware to Close Final U.S. Factory, Relocating Workforce to Mexico as Over 100 Workers Laid Off

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 15, 2024

Tupperware Brands is closing its last operating plant in the U.S., located in South Carolina. 

This significant move will result in over 100 layoffs as the company transitions its manufacturing to Mexico, aiming to consolidate production where it already makes many items sold in the U.S. and Canada.

Hemingway Feels the Impact

The shutdown of Tupperware’s Hemingway facility will displace 148 workers. This closure marks a profound change for the small town that has long hosted the plant. 

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Customers exploring various Tupperware products displayed at a booth

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Announced to begin in September, the closure highlights a pivotal shift in the company’s U.S. operations, headquartered in Orlando.

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Countdown to Change

The countdown to closure begins with layoffs starting this September, leading up to the final shutdown on January 14, 2025.

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A large group of Tupperware employees gathered in front of a Tupperware factory with flags of different countries

Source: Tupperware U.S. & Canada/Facebook

Local news outlet WCBD detailed the timeline, emphasizing the phased wind-down of Tupperware’s last U.S. manufacturing efforts.

Reflecting on the Decision

In response to the impending closure, Tupperware stated, “It’s important to note this decision is not a reflection of the performance of the Hemingway team.” 

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A colorful display of various Tupperware containers arranged on shelves

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This comment illustrates the company’s recognition of the employees’ hard work and dedication despite the strategic shift.

Honoring Employee Dedication

Tupperware publicly expressed appreciation for its team, saying, “We appreciate each of our valued team members and the many years of service they have dedicated to our salesforce and to the Company.” 

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A large group of people, presumably Tupperware employees, celebrating outside a Tupperware facility

Source: Tupperware U.S. & Canada/Facebook

This statement acknowledges the profound contributions of its workforce through the years.

The Final Sale

2023 saw Tupperware selling its Hemingway plant, its last manufacturing footprint in the U.S. 

Tupperware kitchen products including pitchers, cups, and a cake container displayed on a kitchen counter

Source: Tupperware U.S. & Canada/Facebook

This sale was a precursor to the ultimate closure and layoffs announced for the coming year, signaling an end to an era of American manufacturing for the company.

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Supporting Transitioning Employees

In the wake of the closure, Tupperware is offering severance and early retirement packages to affected employees.

A sign at the entrance of a Tupperware facility displaying various international flags and a digital marquee under the Tupperware logo

Source: Tupperware U.S. & Canada/Facebook

Additionally, the company is taking steps to help these workers find new employment opportunities, aiming to soften the blow to the Hemingway community.

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The Origins of Tupperware

Tupperware started in 1946, founded by chemist Earl Tupper in Massachusetts.

A vintage advertisement showing a woman smiling behind a display of colorful Tupperware containers, with the text "The nicest thing that could happen to your kitchen."

Source: Wikimedia Commons

His invention of airtight plastic containers revolutionized how families stored food, significantly reducing waste and saving costs, which catapulted Tupperware into global popularity.

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Economic Highs and Lows

The Hemingway plant, operational since 1976 during a peak period of demand, has seen the best and worst of times. 

A black and white photo of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a Tupperware event, featuring a man cutting the ribbon and attendees in formal attire

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Recently, Tupperware has been navigating severe financial challenges that have influenced its business decisions significantly.

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Financial Disclosure Concerns

This year, Tupperware reported in an SEC filing that it faced “substantial doubt” about its future operations due to financial struggles and insufficient liquidity. 

A large group of Tupperware employees posing in a celebratory manner in front of a Tupperware facility, with the facility’s welcome sign in the background

Source: Tupperware U.S. & Canada/Facebook

These challenges illustrate the company’s ongoing battle with economic pressures.

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Facing NYSE Delisting

Ongoing financial reporting troubles have put Tupperware at risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Flags, including the American flag and other corporate banners, flying in front of a building on Wall Street

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The company has already delayed its annual 10K filing for 2022 and anticipates further delays for 2023, which highlights deep-seated issues in its financial administration.

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Looking Ahead Amid Uncertainty

Tupperware is striving to stabilize and continue its operations amid significant corporate turmoil. 

A variety of Tupperware containers stacked up, showcasing different sizes and colors, with some containing fruits and others displayed empty

Source: Tupperware U.S. & Canada/Facebook

The company commits to completing its overdue financial filings as soon as possible but acknowledges the uncertainty of these efforts’ timing, reflecting persistent internal challenges.

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