P&G closing Ontario plant, moving production to U.S.

Move comes amidst larger P&G efforts to update supply chain

Packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble is closing down one of its two Canadian manufacturing facilities in 2020 and moving some of the production work to a new plant being built in West Virginia.

The Brockville plant employs 480 people and makes Swiffer products, Bounce, and Tide to Go pens. P&G said the Swiffer work would shift to West Virginia, after announcing last year that the Bounce work would move south. Tide to Go pens will go to a contract manufacturer, which is still to be determined.

Brockville, which is about 85 km east of Kingston, Ont., has a population of just 21,000. "It's significant in our economy," Brockville mayor David Henderson told CBC after announcement of the closure.  

P&G spokesperson Jeff LeRoy told media the company would work with employees on transition plans and some could move to other P&G plants including to Belleville, Ont. -- the lone P&G manufacturing facility in Canada after Brockville closes. The Belleville plant makes Always, Always Infinity and Always Discreet. Aside from Belleville, P&G has a distribution centre in Brantford, Ont. and its Canadian head office is in Toronto.

Last March, the Brockville plant was told it would remain open despite losing Bounce production work to the new West Virginia plant. 

But, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based P&G has been closing plants and consolidating production for a few years as part of a larger cost cutting program that includes an updated supply chain. According to Cincinnati.com, P&G has cut nearly 10,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five years.

Construction on the new West Virginia facility only began in March, but is scheduled to open later in 2017.

“This new plant will leverage economies of scale and standardized manufacturing platforms to P&G’s advantage by allowing us to produce multiple brands at one strategic location,” said Yannis Skoufalos, P&G’s global product supply officer, when the plans to build the plant were announced in 2015.

When it reaches full operation it will employ 700 full-time employees and, aside from the Swiffers currently produced in Brockville, will make Bounce, Olay and Old Spice body washes, and Pantene/Herbal Essences/Aussie/Head & Shoulders shampoos and conditioners.

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