7/3/2013 6:29 PM ET|
Paula Deen products pile up in warehouses
Suppliers are stuck with trailer loads of licensed goods as the celebrity chef loses her show and sponsors.
Imagine being a supplier stuck with warehouses full of Paula Deen merchandise because of all of the above.
As Deen fields offers from porn sites and her accuser insists racism and discrimination were only a portion of Deen's broader abuse of power, CNNMoney notes that suppliers of Paula Deen products lose their deals with Wal-Mart (WMT), JCPenney (JCP), Target (TGT), Home Depot (HD) and QVC. They're also stuck with Paula Deen-branded cookware, dishes, food products, a furniture line and greeting cards.
That amounts to 330 tractor-trailer loads of Paula Deen products in the past six years, according to Panjiva, a company that tracks global shipments of goods coming to ports in the United States. Produced in China, Hong Kong and Thailand, those products made their way to the U.S. through importers such as California cookware distributor Meyer Corp., which holds the licensing rights for Paula Deen cookware and tableware.
Meyer alone has imported 75 trailer loads of Paula Deen goods since 2007 and holds just one of the 17 licenses issued by Paula Deen Enterprises. Michaels craft stores also holds one of the Deen licenses, but it slashed its Deen-related imports by 18% last year from 2007 after the sugar-, butter- and fat-loving star announced that she had diabetes.
So what happens to all of those Paula Deen pots, pans, candles and other tchotchkes? Many will have to be rebranded by suppliers with the name of the next flavor of the moment -- not exactly a challenge with the glut of celebrity chefs still cashing in on their 2000s heyday. In a worst-case scenario, they are resigned to the same fate as T-shirts declaring the San Francisco 49ers the winners of this year's Super Bowl.
"Some of this excess inventory could end up in deep-discount stores. Some will be sent back to factories to rebox and sell under some other brand," Marshal Cohen, the chief retail analyst with market research firm NPD Group, told CNN. "Some of it could even end up in overseas markets."
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