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Industry Retail
Fate Acquired
Successor Tesco
Founded 1885
Defunct 1987
Headquarters Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire
Products Groceries

Hillards plc was a small supermarket chain from the North of England, bought out in a hostile takeover by Tesco in 1987.


The company was founded by John Wesley Hillard in 1885 in the West Yorkshire town of Cleckheaton.[1] The first shop was opened in Lion Chambers there and shortly after 1900 there were 20 shops operating as Lion Stores.[1] By 1951 there were over 70 stores and by 1968 it had warehouse size stores in Wakefield, Lincoln and York.[1] In 1970 the trade name Lion Stores was dropped in favour of Hillards and in 1972 the Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange.[1] Peter Hartley, a grandson of the founder, became Executive Chairman in 1983 and in May 1987, following a hostile bid, the business was acquired by Tesco for £220m.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Hillards Charitable Trust
  2. ^ Clark, Tim (15 April 2008). "A history of Tesco: The rise of Britain's biggest supermarket". London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 

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