(Spoiler alert: Do not read further if you do not want to know what happened on Tuesday’s episode of “This Is Us.”)
The fiery ending of Tuesday’s “This Is Us” episode sent fans blazing toward social media to express their horror at the revelation that a family Crock-Pot — which was super old and had a faulty switch — started the fire that killed patriarch Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia).
If being involved in the death of one of the most beloved fictional characters on all of TV doesn’t sound bad enough, get this: Crock-Pot’s parent company Newell Brand’s stock (NWL) plummeted on Thursday, shortly after the Communications team there was done extinguishing the flames from an unanticipated backlash to their beloved product.
“Crock-Pot understands the concerns brought up by the recent episode of ‘This Is Us,’ and we too are heartbroken by the latest development in Jack’s storyline,” a Crock-Pot spokesperson had said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. “However, it is important that our consumers understand and have confidence that all Crock-Pot slow cookers exceed all internal testing protocols and all applicable industry safety standards and regulations as verified by independent third-party testing labs.”
While we can’t guarantee the bad P.R. didn’t play at least a small part in Newell’s sinking market cap (simmer down, stockholders) the real reason share prices are tanking today is because Newell plans to explore a sell-off of at least 10 brands. No, Crock-Pot is not among them — the brands potentially on the table include Waddington, Process Solutions, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Rawlings, Goody, Rubbermaid Outdoor and U.S. Playing Cards, per CNBC.
If the proposed restructuring actually impacts that many groups, Newell could lose 50 percent of its physical footprint — but fortunately not of its net sales. With a shifted focus to nine remaining consumer brands, the company should still control a portfolio of $11 billion in total net sales, which is about 82 percent of its annual take anyway.
“Today’s announcement is a step toward a significant acceleration in our transformation plan. We believe that exiting non-strategic assets, reducing complexity and focusing on our key consumer-focused brands will make us more effective at unlocking value and responding to the fast-changing retail environment,” said Michael Polk, Newell Brands CEO. “A stronger, simpler, faster Newell, together with leading brands, brilliant marketing, outstanding innovation and an advantaged e-commerce capability, better positions us to win in these dynamic times. As a result, we have chosen to explore these strategic options.”
So put that in your Crock-Pot and slow-cook it.
See a snapshot of today’s NWL stock movement below. We chose a five-day window to properly capture the decline.