Coleman Closing Sauk Rapids Manufacturing Operation

Coleman Closing Sauk Rapids Manufacturing Operation

An estimated 175 employees will lose their jobs at the plant known for making Stearns lifejackets.

The Coleman Co. is shuttering its facility in Sauk Rapids at the end of the year, a move that will put approximately 175 employees out of work. The pending closure was disclosed in a letter to the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Sauk Rapids is just north of St. Cloud in central Minnesota and is considered part of the St. Cloud metro area. According to its letter workers will be “laid off on or around December 31, 2021.”

Chicago-based Coleman Co. is known for making outdoor camping gear and equipment.

Atlanta-based Newell Brands Inc. acquired Coleman in 2015. Newell is a global manufacturing conglomerate that makes a wide range of consumer and commercial goods including Rubbermaid containers, PaperMate and Sharpie pens, Elmer’s and Krazy Glue, Calphalon cookware, Mr. Coffee appliances and countless others.

Coleman owns Stearns Inc., a company known for lifejackets that started in central Minnesota. Newell acquired Stearns when it bought Coleman.

A statement from Newell indicated that changes for Stearns products were behind the plant closure:

“Newell Brands’ Outdoor & Recreation Business has decided to close its Sauk Rapids, MN facility as the company exits the Stearns industrial and government line of flotation products at the end of this year and makes manufacturing organizational changes to the recreational personal flotation devices business. 

Employees at the Sauk Rapids facility have been notified of the closure. These decisions are not made lightly and we are grateful to the Sauk Rapids team for their hard work and commitment to our brands, and we’re committed to doing all we can to support them through this transition.”

Newell posted sales of $9.4 billion for 2020 but saw a net loss of $770 million.

St. Cloud has long been known as a manufacturing hub. In 2019 the Electrolux plant closed in St. Cloud after a century, laying off 750 workers.

Just last week the news hit that IWCO Direct is shutting down its facility in Little Falls, laying off 330 employees.

Combined, the IWCO Direct and Coleman layoffs are affecting roughly 500 workers in the state’s 320 area code.