After being deemed non-essential, Newell Brands’ distribution centers close

  • Newell Brands’ Home Fragrance distribution centers, including Yankee Candle, were closed Wednesday after being deemed non-essential by the state. Staff File Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 4/10/2020 8:55:46 PM
Modified: 4/10/2020 8:55:29 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — When Gov. Charlie Baker updated and extended his essential services order at the end of March, it forced Newell Brands’ Home Fragrance distribution centers — once deemed essential — to close until at least May 4.

The centers remained in operation after Newell Brands, the parent company that owns Yankee Candle, had received confirmation directly from Baker’s office that they were essential services, according to company spokesperson Aziree Pemberton. However, the centers were closed Wednesday after the governor amended his March 23 orders. The Home Fragrance Division includes Yankee Candle, WoodWick Candles and Chesapeake Bay Candles.

The updated orders define e-commerce as telephone, internet or other electronic transactions that result in “the shipping of goods and products that themselves would qualify a seller as providing a COVID-19 essential service,” the shipping of goods and products necessary for other COVID-19 essential services providers to conduct their essential work, or the shipping of goods and products from a warehouse or distribution center that includes, within its normal inventory, goods covered by the first provision.

“This reflects the intention of the order to substantially limit the number of workplaces open during the state of emergency in order to reduce out-of-home activity and transmission of the virus,” the order states.

Operations offering only products such as furniture, most clothing for consumer purchase, cosmetics, jewelry, recreational equipment or other consumer specialty items are not considered COVID-19 essential services.

“These operations are required to close their brick-and-mortar locations in Massachusetts and may not remain open in order to conduct e-commerce,” the order declares.

Pemberton had said employees’ well-being is the company’s top priority and measures were taken to keep them safe from exposure to COVID-19. Employees uncomfortable with going to work were allowed to stay home without consequence.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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