Beiersdorf to shutter Cleveland, Tennessee, plant costing hundreds of jobs

Coppertone production to be outsourced from Bradley County's 7th biggest private employer

Photo by Dave Flessner / The Beiersdorf plant on Michigan Avenue in Cleveland, Tennessee will shut down by the summer of 2022. The plant was originally built in 1978 and employed 458 employees when Beiersdorf bought the plant in 2019, making it the seventh biggest private manufacturing employer in Bradley County.

One of Bradley County's biggest manufacturing employers plans to shut down its pharmaceutical plant in Cleveland, Tennessee next year and outsource the production of its Coppertone and other skincare products currently made entirely in Cleveland.

Beiersdorf Inc., a Hamburg, Germany-based maker of personal-care products that acquired the Cleveland plant two years ago with its purchase of the Coppertone brand, said it is phasing down production at its 423,535-square-foot plant on Michigan Avenue and will cease production by the summer of 2022.

The 43-year-old plant, which was previously operated by Bayer Healthcare, Schering-Plough and Merck, employed 458 employees prior to the pandemic and was the seventh biggest private employer in Bradley County, according to the Cleveland-Bradley County Economic Development Council.

Alvaro Alonso, general manager of Beiersdorf North America, said Beiersdorf completed a review of the Cleveland facility last month and concluded it would be more cost effective to outsource production of the Coppertone and other skin care products in the United States than to continue to make such products at the Cleveland plant.