Yankee Candle closing corporate offices in South Deerfield

  • Yankee Candle’s corporate headquarters on Route 5 and 10 in South Deerfield will be closed and its workers moved. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2023

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Newell Brands, the parent company of Yankee Candle, announced the closure of the South Deerfield corporate offices on Monday, citing a need to adjust to “the reality of the economic environment.”

In a letter from Newell Brands CEO Ravi Saligram, employees were informed the company is restructuring and streamlining its operations. Part of that initiative is a “need to cut overhead expenses” by taking “decisive action with our real estate portfolio.” Mentioning the hybrid-work model the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred, Saligram said Newell Brands, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, is closing its corporate offices in South Deerfield and Boca Raton, Florida.

While the closure is not immediate, it is “expected to occur in Q1,” or sometime before the end of March, according to a company spokesperson. Employees working at the South Deerfield corporate office are expected to remain in South Deerfield or be transferred to one of the company’s Whately facilities.

“As part of a larger announcement focused on our company-wide restructuring plan, we also shared that we are closing our South Deerfield, MA corporate office,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “Employees who work from our corporate office will simply transition to our other local facilities in South Deerfield and Whately, which includes our lab and distribution/manufacturing sites.”

The company was unable to verify the number of employees working in the South Deerfield office that would be affected by the move on Monday. 

The closure, according to Saligram’s letter, will not affect the companies’ research and development lab in Deerfield, its distribution and manufacturing sites, nor the flagship store on Routes 5 and 10. Saligram also announced Newell Brands, which also produces Sharpies and Rubbermaid products, among many other household names, is cutting roughly 13% of its office employees.

Layoffs across the company began Monday. The company reported having roughly 32,000 employees at the end of 2021, including 14,000 in North America, in its annual report.

“The home fragrance business remains a valuable part of the Newell Brands portfolio,” the company spokesperson wrote. “The decision is part of a broader effort to adapt to new ways of working, encourage greater collaboration, reduce overhead and use our real estate more efficiently.”

The company’s restructuring and savings plan is called “Project Phoenix” and is expected to bring $220 to $250 million in annual pre-tax savings, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. Project Phoenix is expected to be fully implemented by the end of the year. Following the announcement, the company’s stock (NWL) closed at $15.97, up 92 cents.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.