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Tupperware's a hit at the mall

Lucille Bonneville has been looking high and low for the one and only ice cream scooper made by Tupperware.

My daughter had one in Kentucky, said Bonneville, a retiree from Redding. She was so impressed because it scooped the ice cream with no effort at all, that she's been looking for the darned thing ever since.

From Kentucky, Louisana and Texas, I've looked for that, and I found it in the Rogue Valley Mall, she laughed.

Yep, that's right: You can find and buy Tupperware at the mall -- but only for a limited time.

Tupperware, the originator of home sale parties in the 1940s, has sidestepped -- ever so lightly -- into the retail arena, using cheery, colorful kiosks full of products in shopping malls to spark shopper interest and rejuvenate sales.

The move is part of the company's new marketing strategy to remind consumers that Tupperware is still around and that its products are now conveniently available.

Test kiosk sites in major cities were launched last Christmas and Tupperware decided to expand the locations this year.

Along the same lines, Tupperware announced Tuesday its new interactive Internet Tupperware Shop, at .

The Tupperware kiosk that opened in the Rogue Valley Mall for two weeks in April and May was the first to do business in the Northwest, said Greg Londot, a Southern Oregon Tupperware distributor with his wife, Donna. They also opened one in Bend and Springfield. The kiosk is open now until Sept. 6 and will return in November and December.

Based here in Medford, the Londots have been selling Tupperware for 14 years and oversee an estimated 160 sales consultants and managers serving all of Southern Oregon and Northern California.

We felt we wanted to sell to the new generation, and this way they can just buy it right off the cart, Donna Londot said.

We've been wanting to get into the mall for a long time, Greg Londot said.We knew the exposure would be so positive.

And it has been. The Londots and their consultants gathered 550 referrals from people who wanted to buy more Tupperware, the names of 144 people who want to host parties and the names of 41 people who want to learn about becoming a Tupperware consultant, all from their kiosk set up in April.

On Thursday, consumer traffic and interest remained steady. I think it's great, Bonneville said of the kiosk, because, myself, I can't find a Tupperware dealer.

Peggy Smith of Grants Pass had the same problem. A former Tupperware dealer herself, Smith said the kiosk was a tremendous step'' for Tupperware, which has been stuck for too long in the home-party mindset.

Renee Dorsch, right, and Francesca Dorsch, 5, of Kent, Wash., shop for Tupperware at the Rogue Valley Mall kiosk with Kristi Barone of Medford. - Photo by Steve Johnson