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ATLANTA-Locally based Newell Rubbermaid Inc. says it plans temporary shutdowns at its worldwide factories next year, along with cutting between 800 and 1,000 jobs, in response to reduced profit expectations. The consumer goods maker blames the declining economy for diminished sales of its items, which range from Rubbermaid containers and Sharpie pens to Calphalon cookware and Graco baby products.

Approximately 50 layoffs are expected at Newell Rubbermaid’s 550-employee headquarters, which recently relocated to the Three Glenlake Parkway office building near Georgia 400 in suburban Sandy Springs. Wells REIT II took majority ownership in September of the 354,953-square-foot building that is fully occupied by Newell Rubbermaid under a lease through 2020 with two five-year renewal options.

The news for Georgia’s industrial sector got worse Wednesday, with Findlay, OH-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announcing that it is closing its manufacturing facility in Albany, in the state’s southwest corner. Approximately 1,400 employees will be affected by the permanent shutdown of the 18-year-old plant, with production shifting to Cooper Tire’s other US plants in Findlay, Texarkana, AR and Tupelo, MS. The company estimates $150 million to $175 million in restructuring charges because of the Albany closing.

Newell Rubbermaid cut its 2008 earnings guidance Wednesday, from at least $1.40 per share to less than $1.20, including a double-digit decline in fourth-quarter net sales. Wall Street reacted badly to the news, with the company’s shares losing 27% of their value throughout the trading day and closing near a 52-week low of $9.58 on the New York Stock Exchange.

“We are seeing extraordinary volatility, weaker-than-expected demand and customer inventory reductions across virtually all geographies and market segments, with trends worsening as we near the end of our fourth quarter,” Mark Ketchum, Newell Rubbermaid president and CEO, stated in a release. He added that the company anticipates even greater challenges in 2009 because it is difficult to foresee an economic rebound anytime soon.

Analysts covering Newell Rubbermaid say it is no surprise that market conditions have worsened over the past two months, yet were still taken aback by the company’s reaction. “The magnitude of today’s revision was quite alarming,” William Chappell of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey stated in a research note to that firm’s investors.

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