Gillette has produced shaving blades and razors in South Boston for more than a century, but over the next few years, its owner Procter & Gamble will be moving the manufacturing plant to Andover.
About 750 jobs, described as headquarters, engineering and research and development, will be kept in the city.
P&G brought the development to light Tuesday, the result of a site assessment that started in 2019 and looked at what steps the company needs to take to revitalize the Gillette grooming business, officials said in a release.
Manufacturing operations will relocate some 23 miles from the 31-acre campus along Fort Point Channel, near Interstates 90 and 93, to P&G’s sprawling 150-acre site in Andover, a location that officials say touts “some of the best equipment and capabilities in the world.”
About 450 workers who work in manufacturing at Gillette’s global headquarters in Southie will be offered jobs in Andover, a campus that has an existing staff of roughly 200. The transition will occur in phases, officials say, with the first employees moving to their new locations in 2025 and 2026.
“This is a critical moment for our business to ensure that we have the right infrastructure and capabilities to win for the next century, said Gary Coombe, CEO, P&G Grooming. “I’m confident that we’ve reached the right conclusion and I’m glad that we will continue to have a meaningful presence in both communities – including Boston, which has been our home for over a century and offers so much in terms of innovation, talent, education, and culture.”
Boston City Councilor At-Large Erin Murphy called the manufacturing plant moving to Andover a “loss” to the city’s workforce.
“We need to do better at supporting organizations that offer opportunities in fields like climate solutions, coastal resilience and engineer design,” Murphy told the Herald, adding she met with officials last week to “brainstorm” the future. “We should be a leader at producing fresh talent so we have a pipeline of talented workforce ready for the 21st century jobs.
Gillette started its manufacturing operations in Southie in the early 1900s. Its presence will now transform into an “industry-leading global headquarters and technical innovation center” that will house 750 employees in its headquarters, research and development, and engineering sectors.
The new site will be located either in a location on or near the current waterfront campus, “unlocking new possibilities for the future,” the release states.
In Andover, officials expect the new manufacturing center to serve as a critical hub for P&G’s grooming business that supports manufacturing lines in blades and razors as well as aerosol and chemistry. The site will also feature packaging and direct-to-consumer operations.
P&G Beauty, officials say, looks to take advantage of the new facility in Andover, as well. The business has confirmed plans to double production of its bar soap in the next two years, and it could bring other categories to the site in the future, the release states.
Company leaders plan to include the broader South Boston community “to explore how changes to the South Boston site could yield advantages for the city, state and local community.”
“With a thoughtful planning process, site redevelopment could help address some of the most critical needs of the moment such as bringing new jobs and economic opportunity, building more housing, creating new publicly accessible open space,” the release states.
A community meeting will be held with company representatives in the coming weeks, and those interested in attending are told to email firstname.lastname@example.org for further notifications.
City Council President Ed Flynn, in a message to the Herald, highlighted Gillette’s “long history” in Southie as a “strong and steady partner of our neighborhood.”
“While it is certainly sad to see the relocation of Gillette’s manufacturing operations to Andover, I am glad to see that they will retain their Headquarters here in South Boston,” he said. “I look forward to working with Gillette to continue our long, historic partnership as we work towards discussing the potential of what the City can do to repurpose the land there.”
P&G Gillette announced Tuesday it’s moving manufacturing jobs from the “world shaving headquarters” in South Boston to a plant in Andover. (Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)