Jewson

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Jewson Ltd
Type Limited company
Industry Building materials
Founded 1836
Founders George Jewson
Headquarters Merchant House, Binley Business Park, Binley, Coventry
Area served UK, Ireland
Key people Peter Stringer
Products Building materials
Plumbers
Electricians
Joiners merchants
Parent Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Group
Website Jewson

Jewson is one of the largest chains of British general builders' merchants, selling to small and medium building contractors and the general public with over 600 branches across the country.

Jewson, as part of the Meyer group, was acquired by the French conglomerate Saint-Gobain in April 2000.[1]

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

George Jewson bought a business in Earith in 1836 to trade goods in the Huntingdonshire Fens of East Anglia.[2] His son John Wilson Jewson (b. 1817) had 13 children: the eldest, George, at the time working with a timber merchant in Norwich, suggested expansion there.

John Jewson bought a house in Colegate in Norwich in 1868, and he moved there where he developed a successful timber, coal and builders' merchant business. The family played a role in civic service in Norwich and Norfolk.

Jewson family[edit]

Of John's eight sons:

Frank became a partner in a solicitors, Cozens-Hardy & Jewson.

Richard Jewson (1867–1949) was Lord Mayor of Norwich and the firm became the largest timber merchants between the Thames and the Humber.

Percy Jewson was Lord Mayor in 1934 and Liberal MP for Great Yarmouth during the Second World War. His son, Charles Jewson, son of Percy, was a writer on the history of Norwich and its buildings and Lord Mayor in 1965.

Fraud[edit]

On 14 May 2008, it was reported that Jewson had dismissed two members of staff and contacted police after an internal investigation revealed evidence of an alleged £1m fraud at the firm. [1]

Sales director Tony Newman and another unnamed employee had left the firm, following claims of irregularities in the company's books.

In a statement Jewson said: "We can confirm that following an investigation by our internal audit department Tony Newman was dismissed from his role as sales director, on 18 April. In addition, one other person, who had been employed by Jewson for less than two weeks, has been dismissed as a result of our internal investigation. This matter, which relates to the fraudulent supply and procurement of marketing services, has now been passed to the police who are conducting a detailed investigation with our full cooperation and support."

On the 2nd April 2012, before Birmingham Crown Court, the case against Tony Newman was dropped, when the prosecution offered no evidence against him and he was acquitted of all charges.

Litigation[edit]

Jewson Ltd -v- Jewson's Drives Ltd[edit]

On 15 May 2009 Jewson Ltd applied under s.69(1)Companies Act 2006 for a change of name of Jewson's Drives Ltd which had been registered since 18 March 2009.

Jewson Ltd argued that they enjoyed goodwill under the name "Jewson" since 1836 and that they were the UK's leading timber and builders' merchant. Jewson Ltd alleged that Jewson's Drives Ltd had been offering flagging, paving, fencing and related services and that their own customers had been misled by the respondent.

However, as long as Jewson's Drives Ltd had actually been operating as a business and there was no evidence to show they only registered their name for the purpose of obtaining (valuable) consideration from Jewson Ltd or for the sake of obstructing their own registration of a name, then they could have a defence to the application.

Jewson Ltd's application was struck out by the adjudicator.[3]

See also[edit]

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