James Gerald Gulliver

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James Gerald Gulliver CVO (17 August 1930 – 12 September 1996) was the founder of Argyll Foods, one of the United Kingdom's largest retail businesses.


Born in Campbeltown and educated at the University of Glasgow and Georgia Institute of Technology, James Gulliver served for three years in the Royal Navy before joining Urwick Orr & Partners, management consultants.[1] In 1965 he joined Fine Fare where he became Chairman within two years.[1]

In 1977, together with Alistair Grant, a marketing specialist and David Webster, a merchant banker, he founded James Gulliver Associates, which went on to become Argyll Foods acquiring numerous retail concerns including 130 Safeway outlets.[1]

In 1985 he tried unsuccessfully to acquire Distillers but lost the bidding to Guinness. He retired from the business in 1985.[1]

He was awarded the CVO for his services to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.[2] He was also a football enthusiast serving as Vice-President of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of Heart of Midlothian.[2]

He died in Edinburgh in 1996.[2]


He was married four times, lastly to Melanie, and had 5 children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e James Gulliver Chairman of Food Group dies at 66 New York Times, 17 September 1996
  2. ^ a b c RSE Fellowship