The party could be over for Tupperware as the maker of food storage containers warned it could go bust without urgent financing. The US firm has been attempting to reposition itself to a younger audience but the strategy has failed to stop a continuing slide in sales. On Monday it said there was “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern”.
The company said it is struggling with higher interest costs on borrowings while trying to turn its fortunes around.
Shares in the 77-year-old firm almost halved in value this week after it revealed it was in danger.
So-called Tupperware Parties gained the brand worldwide recognition in the 1950s and 1960s, when people gathered in each other’s homes to buy and sell the storage containers.
Tupperware still employs a UK direct sales force – who earn a percentage of all the items they sell – as well as selling goods on its website.
It recently started selling its products in US retail chain Target in an attempt to entice younger shoppers and also expanded its range into cooking products, such as a grill that works in a microwave.
The company said it was working with financial advisers to secure more money and investment while examining whether it can sell property and cut jobs.
Tupperware was founded by Earl Tupper, an American chemist, in 1946. Their polyethylene air-tight and water-tight products – with their double-sealed lid – were sold in department stores.
However, they were not immediately successful as customers were unsure how to use them.
But when saleswoman Brownie Wise – already selling cleaning products at home parties – also included Tupperware and recruited others to sell the goods, she was recruited as a vice president of marketing by Mr Tupper.
She helped fuel growth in the business through parties, also giving post-war women the opportunity to earn an income.
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