Tupperware Will Now Party at SuperTarget

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Three years after entering malls, direct seller Tupperware Corp. will sell its food storage, preparation and serving products in SuperTarget stores.


The Orlando company will debut 40 to 50 Tupperware items this fall in specially marked areas located in 62 SuperTarget stores nationwide. Sales consultants, overseen by local Tupperware distributors, will demonstrate the products.


Target Corp., which is accelerating its push for bigger-format stores, will get a cut of sales through a markup on Tupperware products.


"Tupperware matches SuperTarget's emphasis on upscale, forward merchandise," said Douglas Kline, spokesman for Target, Minneapolis.


The expansion into big-box retail stores comes as Tupperware claims success with its mall showcase model. In fourth quarter 2000, there were 450 kiosks in malls nationwide. On average, 160 open each year.


Rick Goings, chairman/CEO of Tupperware, said malls were key boosters of Tupperware's staple in-home parties.


"One of the greatest sources of booking parties are these retail locations," Goings said. "Fifty percent of the parties that we held in the first six months of this year in the United States come from people who went to a mall showcase, bought a product and then also said, 'Hey, I'd also like to host a party.'


"So these [in-home parties and retail locations] don't work against each other, they work together," he said.


Tupperware also sells its plastic containers through its corporate and sales force Web sites and the Home Shopping Network television channel.


The announcement comes in the same month that a similar agreement between Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Avon Products Inc. was terminated. Sears said it would no longer carry Avon's new beComing cosmetics retail brand.


Sears is walking out of the skin care and cosmetics business, taking a $53 million charge in the second quarter. The Hoffman Estates, IL, company said cosmetics no longer fit with its financial and strategic objectives.


The new Avon line will be sold at JCPenney stores. The line will be distinct from Avon products sold by its consultants door-to-door or via the Internet.


But Avon's retail model differs from Tupperware's. Unlike Tupperware, Avon will not have its consultants support beComing in the Penney stores.


"Avon is going retail themselves," Goings said. "They're not involving their sales force. Clearly they've got a channel conflict issue, and we'll find out whether it works."


One of the challenges Tupperware will face with its SuperTarget initiative is taking a packaging approach to a retail store environment. For instance, products will have to be barcoded for scanning. But Goings does not find that to be an insurmountable hurdle.


He said 94 percent of Tupperware's revenue comes from inhouse sales and the rest through other channels.


"But the new channels are growing," Goings said. "If I was to predict, in five years I think what you'll see is 60 percent of sales will continue to be from Tupperware home parties and the other 40 percent will be from stitching together these other channels of distribution.


"But they often like to say, 'Whoa, does this mean the party is dead?' Absolutely not," he said. "This is just another venue for a different kind of a party. We'll still be demonstrating product benefits."


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