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Tupperware warns it could go out of business soon

Tupperware items, including a set of "retro" storage containers at left, rest on a table during a Tupperware party in Sebastian, Florida, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Tupperware is warning that it might go out of business, despite its leaders previously touting a turnaround from years of declining sales.

In a news release, the 77-year-old food container and kitchen equipment company said it might not have enough cash to survive in the near term if it isn’t able to amend its credit agreements or get enough capital. It is bringing on financial advisers with the goal of raising more money.

“The Company has concluded there is substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern,” the release from Friday said.

In 2019, Tupperware said it employed about 300 people at its headquarters in Central Florida, but in a February 2020 statement that number had fallen to about 250 people.

A Tupperware spokeswoman declined to comment Monday.

Tupperware’s stock price was at $1.24 Monday at close, plunging nearly 50% from $2.42 last week.

“The Company is doing everything in its power to mitigate the impacts of recent events, and we are taking immediate action to seek additional financing and address our financial position,” said CEO Miguel Fernandez, in the release.

The business is in discussions with potential investors and financing partners and is looking at other options such as “right-sizing efforts” or sale-leaseback deals with its real estate.

The company has already moved off all its remaining land in Central Florida, with deals in 2021 and 2020. Tupperware entered an 11-year sale-leaseback agreement for its corporate headquarters in November 2020.

The New York Stock Exchange has also said Tupperware could be delisted after the company did not file an annual report. The news release said the company expects to file that report within the next 30 days but added there “can be no assurance” that it will be done at that time.

Tupperware, known for its plastic containers and sales parties, has been attempting to transform itself after years of declining sales.

It has been trying to sell its famous containers, first created by Earl Tupper in 1946, in different ways, with its independent sales force hosting online parties and Target starting to carry its containers last year.

In October 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company reported its first year-over-year sales increase in a quarter since 2017, as lockdowns and shuttered restaurants sparked demand for food containers.

Fernandez, former global president of Avon Products, was named Tupperware’s CEO in March 2020 after Tricia Stitzel stepped down as chairman and CEO in November 2019.

Tupperware’s stock fell more than 90% from March 2019 to $2.27 by the time Fernandez was named CEO in March 2020.

After the company reported year-over-year sales growth in the third quarter of 2020, its stock price jumped about 35% that day, hitting $28.80 the day of that earnings call.

But the turnaround doesn’t appear to have lasted.

Net sales in 2022 were down 18% year-over-year to $1.3 billion, a news release with a preliminary financial summary showed.

GlobalData Retail analyst Neil Saunders told CNN that consumers are pulling back on home goods and younger shoppers aren’t fully connecting with Tupperware.


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