Whittard of Chelsea

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Whittard of Chelsea
Industry Speciality Tea & Coffee
Founded 1886
Founder Walter Whittard
Headquarters Witney, Oxfordshire
Number of locations
78
Area served
International
Products Tea, Coffee, Ceramic, Chocolate
Owner EPIC[1]
Number of employees
942
Website www.whittard.co.uk

Whittard of Chelsea is an international retailer of coffee, tea and various items that are used for the consumption of hot drinks. Instant tea, hot chocolate, china and confectionery are also amongst their leading products. The company was founded in 1886 by Walter Whittard. It expanded in the 1980s and 1990s, being bought by Baugur Group of Iceland in 2005 for about £21m. After Iceland's financial collapse in 2008, the company was placed into administration before being sold to the private equity firm EPIC for an undisclosed amount in December 2008. Wittards has some 77 retail stores across the United Kingdom, as well as international stores in various countries.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1886 by Walter Whittard, a merchant from London.[2] Originally the company only sold tea, however within a few years it had diversified. The company expanded in the 1980s and 1990s in the UK and abroad. The investment company Baugur Group of Iceland bought Whittard of Chelsea in 2005 for about £21m. In the year to the end of March 2007, Whittard reported a loss of £3.2m. Baugur was hit hard by Iceland's financial collapse in 2008, and placed the company into administration with Ernst & Young. It was sold to the private equity firm EPIC for an undisclosed amount on 23 December 2008.[3]

Operations[edit]

Whittards on Lands Lane in Leeds

The company has 54 retail stores across the United Kingdom, employing 950 people, and provides international sales through its transactional website. The company has international stores in countries including Abu Dhabi, Australia, Chile, Cyprus, Dubai, Kuwait, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Poland and the United States.

References[edit]

  1. ^ EPIC Portfolio
  2. ^ History section of company website
  3. ^ "Whittard sold to private equity". BBC News. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 

External links[edit]