Crabtree & Evelyn

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Crabtree & Evelyn, Stratford on Avon
Crabtree & Evelyn in Guildford High Street
Crabtree & Evelyn, Hong Kong

Crabtree & Evelyn /ˈkræbtr ænd ˈvlɪn/ is an American retailer of body and home products with stores globally. According to its website, Crabtree & Evelyn uses over 160 “natural botanical ingredients” in its skin care products. It is wholly owned by Khuan Choo International Limited, as of July 2012.


The company was founded in 1972 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Cyrus Harvey. The first retail store was opened in 1977 by Stephen Miller in the Philadelphia area.

The Company's name is inspired by the 17th Century renaissance Englishman John Evelyn, who wrote one of the first important works on conservation. He is also known for his writings on food, including a book on salads, in which he introduced the first salad dressing made with olive oil to Europe. The Crabtree or Wild Apple symbol is native to Britain and the ancestor of all cultivated apple trees [1] It was highly prized for its beauty, as well as its usefulness in home apothecary. Although certain documents and much of the current marketing is consistent with the information above, a number of early Crabtree & Evelyn documents point to the name being inspired by a "George Crabtree", who is allegedly a "17th century Englishmen".[citation needed]. If "George Crabtree" was indeed a fictionalised entity (in the vein of "John Bull" or,"Uncle Sam') [2] the surname `Crabtree' and the reason behind its selection would still be consistent with current marketing.

In 1996, Cyrus Harvey decided to sell the company, and it was sold to Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad and operated by a subsidiary as CE Holdings. While funded and managed by the holding company in Kuala Lumpur, day-to-day operations—such as research and development, manufacturing, and design—continue to be based in the UK and US.

CE Holdings was sold to the Hong Kong-based investment-holding company Khuan Choo International Limited, as of July 2012, for USD 155,000,000.[3]


On July 1, 2009, Crabtree & Evelyn's US operations filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That month, the company had closed more than 30 stores domestically due to an inability to re-negotiate leases with the stores. The employees of those closed stores were terminated, but received compensation. When 2010 began, the company had recovered from bankruptcy.


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