Tupperware's shocking news that the company may not be able to survive probably should not be so shocking after all.
And even if Tupperware Brands Corp. ends up going out of business, one retail analyst believes the brand name will live on.
The company, etched in so many minds for a lifetime now, had been heading toward April 7, 2023, for a long time, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail division at GlobalData, an information and analytics company.
That's when company officials gave the stock market warning that the company might not survive.
"Tupperware as a business has really been in decline for quite a while. It had a brief rally during the early part of the pandemic. Because we were all cooking from home and buying home stuff. But really the long-term trend is decline," Saunders said.
"The model that Tupperware uses, that direct selling model, is still a valid model. But it's just not as popular as it once was in terms of consumers, especially younger customers. It just really doesn't have much traction with them," he said.
The company's stock price was trading last week for a buck and some change after company officials warned the company might not be able to survive, shedding about 40 percent of its value or so compared with before the news hit. Shares were around $4 at the first of the year and around $20 a year ago.
In late 2013, almost a decade ago, shares traded at one point over $95. And sales that same year were $2.67 billion, double the $1.3 billion that the company posted in 2022.
Make no mistake, Tupperware is in a world of hurt. The signs have been coming for quite some time, it turns out. But this latest round of bad news is the one that's truly caught the public's attention.
"This has come to a head now, but a lot of this isn't a new thing," Saunders said.
Linda Bolton Weiser, up until recently, followed Tupperware as a stock analyst for D.A. Davidson & Co. She recently dropped coverage because of the company's low stock price but did provide some perspective on the company's situation.
Weiser, who had covered Tupperware on two different occasions during her career, said years of underinvesting in the company is causing the current problems. The company has not spent enough money on technology, a point that both a former chief financial officer and the current CFO have mentioned, she said.
Another issue is that Tupperware, which has long relied on at-home sales parties, also decided to start selling through retail at Target stores.
"The current CEO is embarking on more of an omni-channel approach. So that has required some investment. To go into the regular retail channel, Target and other stores, that requires a lot of investment to be able to have a supply chain that can support selling to Target," she said.
Tupperware now finds itself in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because it has not filed its annual report for 2022. And the company is saying the market should not rely on certain past fiscal reporting.
Tupperware's demise actually goes back several years, but the company had been able to manage because of a relatively strong position in the past, Saunders said.