Online bulk candy retailer Candystore.com says it has seen a boom in NECCO wafer sales after Revere, Mass.-based New England Confectionery Co. announced in March it could face major layoffs and possible closure if it doesn’t find a buyer.
As reported by the Boston Globe and other sources, NECCO CEO Michael McGee told Massachusetts and Revere officials in a March 6 letter that the 171-year-old company has been in negotiations with potential buyers so that operations may continue.
However, there is no guarantee of a sale, and if one doesn’t come to fruition within 60 days of the letter, NECCO could have to lay off 395 employees. The Boston Globe reported the layoffs could affect cooks, hard candy makers, truck operators, machine operators and attendants, and administrative positions.
“We deeply regret and understand the uncertainty this action may cause our valued employees,” McGee reportedly wrote in the letter.
Though she declined to give specific figures, Clair Robins, spokesperson for Candystore.com, said sales of NECCO wafers jumped up 63 percent this March over March averages between 2008 and 2017. Sales of all NECCO products jumped 50 percent.
“Sales have gone up a huge amount, which we love,” Robins said, “but there is a palpable fear on our customers’ part that the next shipment won't show up. The inquiries via email, phone and social media have been a little overwhelming but also fun because people share their stories and passions about NECCO candy.”
In a blog post on Candystore.com, Robins noted the online retailer has received 253 email inquiries since the Boston Globe report published March 12. They’ve also gotten 167 phone calls, 77 social media messages and 29 customers offering to pay double or more for bulk quantities of NECCO items. One woman reportedly offered to trade in her Honda Accord.
Robins noted NECCO is still shipping candy, but Candystore.com has been stockpiling as much as they can. She added the online retailer has never experienced anything like this before.
“We want to see someone #SaveNecco,” Robins said. “It's an iconic candy that's part of the fabric of America. Now more than ever we need that.