CorningWare collector’s items value skyrockets after Instant Brands collapse 💰📈
Aussies are being urged to check their kitchen cupboards for CorningWare collector’s items in the wake of the brand’s US-based parent company’s collapse.
This month on 12-June, Instant Brands announced it had initiated a voluntary court-appointed bankruptcy process. The cookware brand is the maker behind kitchen devices such as Instant Pot cookers, Corelle dinner plates, and Pyrex glassware.
The products are stocked in a number of major Australian retailers including Woolworths, Coles and Big W. Instant Brands attributed the tough inflationary environment to its failure.
Off the back of the news, the price of CorningWare pieces on sites like eBay have reached an all-time high – skyrocketing to as much as $25,000 on the buy and sell platform, which is $10,000 more than the top price on previous online auctions.
The dishes up for auction feature rare CorningWare patterns, including the “Floral” design (which was available between 1971 and 1975), and “Wildflowers Spice of Life”.
One eBay seller who had tapped into growing demand for the crockery in recent years previously told 7NEWS.com.au that her mother’s collection had “been gathering dust in our home for years”.
“I sold off a few pieces – with my mum’s blessing of course – and have made about $9000 so far. I have another one listed at the moment, which I’m hoping to get around $2500 for,” she told the website at the time.
“I would never have thought that it could be so valuable. When I was younger, I thought it was just daggy. Now it’s making us more money than I ever dreamed.”
In court statements filed to the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, the company revealed it generated operating case flows of US$17.9 million for the first three months of the year.
That amount ultimately wasn’t enough to save its fate, as it had racked up US$500 million in debt.
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing means the company can temporarily retain its operations and attempt to restructure the business without the threat of creditors appointing receivers or liquidators.
Instant Brands revealed it had received a US$132.5 million credit line to turn the table on its negative debt position.
Instant Brands has offices around the world, including in Sydney. These local operations remain unaffected.
It also has a number of stores in the Asia Pacific region including in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and China, and a large presence across the US, Canada and UK.
Image: Instand Brands product range
“The company’s entities located outside the US and Canada are not included in the Chapter 11 filings,” Instant Brands said in its market update.
“The company intends to pay vendors, suppliers and distributors in full under normal terms for goods and services provided on or after the filing date.”
A spokesperson for Instant Brands Australia Pty Ltd said its US sister company was not “going out of business” and that the protections had been filed to “strengthen their financial positions in an efficient and orderly manner”.
The spokesperson added: “Instant Brands (Australia) Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Instant Brands Holding Inc but operations and cash flows are managed by the local ANZ team.
“We are continuing to serve our retail and distribution partners and our community of users without interruption, and they remain our top priority.”
Instant Brands CEO, Ben Gadbois, said the brand had not been able to weather the economic downturn, hence the drastic measures.
“After successfully navigating the Covid-19 pandemic and the global supply chain crisis, we continue to face additional global macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges that have affected our business,” he said.
“In particular, tightening of credit terms and higher interest rates impacted our liquidity levels and made our capital structure unsustainable.”
The company has existed for 108 years, since 1915, and claimed that at least one of its products can be found in 90 per cent of American households.
While you’re hear, read our article The retro collectibles that are now worth a small fortune
This article was first published on news.com.au on 15 June 2023 by Natalie Brown and Alex Turner-Cohen.