Marty Walsh caught ‘off guard’ by Gillette’s potential headquarters adjustments

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he was considerably stunned by the information that Gillette is taking a look at a potential consolidation of its operations in Massachusetts.

Proctor and Gamble, which owns the Boston-based shaving firm, introduced to staff Thursday that it was “conducting an assessment related to its Massachusetts operations,” an organization spokeswoman confirmed Friday to Boston.com.

According to WCVB, which first reported the information Thursday, the evaluation entails the potential consolidation of Gillette’s headquarters in South Boston and its manufacturing facility in Andover, which collectively make use of round 1,300 individuals.

In a taped interview Friday for WCVB’s “On The Record,” Walsh mentioned the corporate’s plans “caught me off guard a little bit.”

“Their world headquarters is here, and when Procter and Gamble came in and took over the Gillette company, they made a commitment that their intention was not to change the model of Boston as their world headquarters,” the mayor mentioned. “They were going to keep it. And it just seems like there’s a little bit of concern with some of the conversations that are happening.”

Proctor and Gamble spokeswoman Kara Buckley says the evaluation is the “first step” within the firm’s plan to spend money on extra fashionable manufacturing amenities and workplace areas. And whereas the method will have a look at finest find and construction the corporate’s operations in South Boston and Andover, she mentioned they “anticipate stable enrollment rates in any scenario.”

“As we look at all scenarios, our goal will be to retain our talented employees,” Buckley mentioned.

Gillette first started manufacturing razors and different shaving merchandise in South Boston across the flip of the 20th century, and its 34-acre headquarters on the Fort Point Channel stays a neighborhood landmark, its illuminated signal noticeably seen from I-93.

Buckley says the newly introduced evaluation is a part of an ongoing enterprise reinvention geared toward organising Gillette for the longer term with “cutting-edge facilities and capabilities,” as the corporate faces growing competitors from lower-cost, direct-to-consumer razor manufacturers, like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club.

This summer time, Gillette reported a still-dominant 52.eight p.c market share on males’s razors and blades — down from 70 p.c in 2010. Over the previous few years, the corporate has slashed its blade costs, launched an order-by-text service, and launched a heated razor.

Proctor and Gamble has additionally lately shifted its advertising and marketing technique with extra progressive-minded advertisements.

At the identical time, the Cincinnati-based firm, which purchased Gillette in 2005, is sitting on more and more coveted actual property in Boston and has begun promoting underutilized parts of its South Boston property for improvement. In May, Gillette offered a 6.5-acre car parking zone for a reported sum of $218 million.

According to WCVB, the forthcoming evaluation might contain additional shrinking the corporate’s footprint in South Boston, which Walsh needs to protect.

“It just seems like, a little bit over the past several years there’s been a little bit of selling off parcels, looking at development,” he informed WCVB. “I plan on having a conversation with Gillette, Procter and Gamble, to keep their headquarters here in the city of Boston.”

According to the corporate, they haven’t any plans to maneuver out of metropolis, at the very least not solely. Buckley says that Proctor and Gamble plans to work with native officers on no matter adjustments the longer term holds.

“Under any scenario, we will maintain a meaningful presence in South Boston, which has been an important part of our heritage — and where we can benefit from, and enable, the strong business and innovation ecosystem that exists in the city today,” she mentioned. 

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