Unilever to close California personal care facility

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care United states North america Unilever

UK/Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever is to close its personal care manufacturing facility in Industry, California as part of ongoing restructuring measures.

The manufacturing facility is situated in an industrial zone in the suburbs of Los Angeles and its closure will mean the loss of 61 hourly and salaried staff, currently employed there.

The facility manufactures some of the company’s most iconic personal care brands, including Axe, Suave, Dove, which are supplied throughout the North American market.

Production will now be transferred to Unilever’s manufacturing facilities in Jefferson City, Missouri and Raeford North Carolina, over the course of the next year.

Transfer of manufacturing will be gradual

Unilever says that the transfer will be achieved in phases, beginning in the second quarter of 2010 and scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter.

The Industry plant is expected to finish production during the third quarter of 2010, while the final closure of the plant should be completed by the end of that quarter.

“Continually achieving greater efficiencies across our Supply Chain network is essential to our business,”​ said Dennis Myers, Unilever supply leader.

“An extensive and careful analysis has shown that greater efficiencies can be achieved by shifting production to other company plants in the US.

“This decision was not easily made, and in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our colleagues at the City of Industry facility,”

Merging deodorants with skin care

Last month Unilever announced the consolidation of its US personal care operations, with the merger of its Chicago-based antiperspirants, deodorant and hair care group with its skin care division as part of its cost saving initiatives.

The move will create a US personal care business unit based at the consumer giant’s North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Unilever says it will close its Michigan Avenue office in Chicago by July 2010, a move that will affect some 200 personnel who are currently employed at the location.

Since 2006 Unilever has integrated a number of its operations in North America in the hope of improving efficiencies with the ultimate aim of giving it great financial resources to develop its brands.

Between 2008 and 2009 the company concentrated on integrating its global supply chain, while in 2007 it integrated its North American ice cream business into its US operations, while combining its Connecticut and Illinois offices in 2006.

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