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For the Feast of Booths, see Sukkot. For other meanings, see Booth (disambiguation).
EH Booth & Co Ltd
Private limited company
Industry Supermarket
Founded 1847[1]
1896 (incorporated)
Founder Edwin Henry Booth
Headquarters Ribbleton, Preston, England
Number of locations
Increase 29 retail stores in Northern England
Key people
Edwin J. Booth (Chairman)
John Vandermeer (Finance Director)
Andrew Rafferty (IT Director)
Jacqueline Lunardi (HR Director)[2]
Products Food, beverage & tobacco retailing
Revenue Increase £270.32m (2011)[2]
Decrease £9.41m (2011)[2]
Profit Increase £5.74m (2011)[2]
Owner Booth family members & staff
Number of employees
Subsidiaries Booths (Lytham) Ltd
Booths (St Annes) Ltd
Booths (Penrith) Ltd[2]

Booths is a chain of high-end supermarkets in Northern England. Most of its branches are located in Lancashire, but there are also branches in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. Booths attempt to compete on quality as opposed to just price. It has been developed on the motto "to sell the best quality goods in shops staffed by first class assistants".


E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd was founded in June 1847 when 19-year-old tea dealer Edwin Henry Booth opened a shop called The China House in Blackpool. In 1863, he added the sale of wines and spirits, and branches were opened in Lytham in 1879 and Blackburn in 1884. The business was incorporated as a private limited company in 1896.[1]

Edwin's son John opened cafes in the stores in 1902 and invited all staff to become shareholders in 1920.[3] It has remained owned by the Booth family and staff ever since, comprising over 250 shareholders in 2011 and with no individual having more than 12% of the total shares.[4] The current chairman, Edwin J. Booth, is the fifth generation.

In a feature article[5] in The Guardian in 2008, David Webster, the former chairman and co-founder of Britain's Safeway chain (which had sold out to Morrisons in 2004), said that he had tried to buy out Booths several times over the years, as did several of his rivals, adding "one thought Booths would have disappeared ages ago but it jolly well hasn't. It is obviously doing an outstanding job for its customers".

From beginning as a tea shop in Blackpool, Booths grew into the first chain of supermarkets in the area, and even though it has now been eclipsed by bigger supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's, it boasted 28 stores across the region in 2011.[6]

Booths today[edit]

Booths Central Office, Ribbleton, Preston
Booths' store in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

In 2006, Booths achieved second place in the list of the World's Greatest Food Retailers.[7] The panel of top designers, architects, analysts, journalists, suppliers and retailers was brought together by national trade publication, The Grocer, and asked to rank their favourite food retailers from anywhere in the world. They were impressed by the quality of the company's offer, its focus on local sourcing and head for innovation. Simon Bell, retail director of foodservice firm Leathams, voted Booths' Chorley store first above Selfridges in London. He applauds its excellent customer service, knowledge of products and friendly staff.[8]

In June 2005, the current Chairman, Edwin J Booth, was awarded the BITC (Business in the Community) Prince of Wales Ambassador Award for North West England. This is given to individuals whose leadership and commitment to responsible business practice and the actions they have taken personally have created a positive impact both inside their company and on the wider society.

A new head office was opened in early 2006 in Ribbleton, Preston and includes environmentally friendly features, such as using rainwater to flush the toilets.[citation needed]

In 2011 Booths opened two new stores in MediaCityUK[9] and Penrith, Cumbria.[10] A new Booths store in Milnthorpe opened on 14 November 2012 and one in Barrowford opened on 4th December 2014. A branch open in July 2015 in Burscough.

In May 2014 the store rebranded its own-label milk as ‘Fair Milk’, increasing its farmgate milk price to 35.5 pence per litre, and thus paying farmers more for their milk than any other UK supermarket.[11]

The future[edit]

In January 2009 the chain announced[12] it was to take a unit in the proposed redeveloped Square shopping centre in Hale Barns. The Hale Barns store is due to open on the 15th April 2015.[13]

Artisan restaurant and cafe bar[edit]

The Artisan speciality food shop and restaurant is a recent[when?] development by Booths. The first one was located at the Kendal store, its range is mainly local produce from small producers.[14] The second opened in 2007 at the Haven Road store in Lytham.[15]


Booths has largely concluded[when?] its plans to re-brand the company. This involves replacing the former 'Booths the grocer' image, using a new black Booths logo. Other changes include a new store logo, new uniforms, redesigned carrier bags, and new look packaging on products to incorporate the new colours and logo.

Booths MediaCityUK has its own black and white branding.

Booths planned to re-brand the remaining stores over the 12–18 months from May 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Baren, Maurice (1999). How it all began in Lancashire. Skipton, North Yorkshire: Dalesman Publishing Company Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85568-165-1. OCLC 223029083. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd., Directors' Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 2 April 2011, approved 17 August 2011
  3. ^ "About us". Booths. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  4. ^ E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd., AR01 Annual Return, 3 October 2011
  5. ^ Sarah Butler, The Guardian 07.07.08, The thinking person's retailer, Guardian News and Media Limited
  6. ^ Rayner, Jay (13 November 2011). "Booths: the honest supermarket". The Observer. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  7. ^ IGD Retail Analysis – Booths News – Booths Christmas results: another success for the top-end
  8. ^ Booths Supermarkets – News
  9. ^ "Dee-light as Booths promote to board". 24 February 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  10. ^ urged to cash in on shopping boom "Cumbrian town centre". news & star. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Booths names own-label milk ‘Fair Milk’ and raises farmgate price". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Booths move to Hale Barns". Manchester Evening News. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Booths Supermarket Hale Barns - Now Open Opening Hours & Directions". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Beckett, Simon (14 November 2004). "FOOD & DRINK: Local heroes". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 11 June 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ Parker, James (16 November 2007). "Seaside special". Multiple Buyer & Retailer. William Reed Publishing Ltd. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 

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