Quebecers may have difficulty obtaining the famous containers of the Tupperware brand due to a wave of resignations among its sellers, dissatisfied since the start of the pandemic.
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“One of the big problems is that we could no longer have Tupperware parties with our customers with the products. That's what made the brand so successful," says Martine Gauthier.
This resident of Saint-Stanislas, in Mauricie, was a manager at Tupperware for 12 years. Last February, she resigned after bringing in several million dollars in sales to the American company.
“I really liked my job and my clients, but that really changed during the pandemic with the management of the company in Orlando not listening to us anymore. [...] We had a lot of stock-outs. I preferred to leave,” she explains.
The case of Martine Gauthier is far from unique. She maintains that within her Tupperware organization, 25 out of 40 directors have dropped everything since 2020.
The Journal spoke with a dozen saleswomen in Quebec who also slammed the door of the company.
The majority of them believe that the business model no longer works due to COVID-19.
“I was trying to do Zoom meetings with customers to sell the products, but they wouldn't show up half the time. I noticed that it was too much energy and that my sales dropped too much in 2021. With the shortage of jobs, I went back to catering, ”says Nathalie Rochon, from Longueuil.
For its part, the company refused to confirm to the Journal if there was a wave of resignations among its employees in the province.
“We have undertaken a recovery plan to strengthen our operations, our teams, our processes and our systems,” said Cameron Klaus of the Tupperware company by email.
stock market crash
According to the French daily Les Échos, the company lost a third of its stock market value in May 2022.
"Clearly the Tupperware machine is seized up," it read.
Benoit Duguay, professor at the School of Management Sciences at UQAM, is not surprised to see the company in this situation.
“Their old business model is based on customer contacts and it no longer works with COVID, it’s normal to see that happen. [...] Food containers are surely purchased more on the web today. Even car dealerships are thinking about becoming online-only businesses in the future,” says Duguay.
- With Pascal Dugas Bourdon