Monday, January 5

Waterford Wedgwood

It’s a sad day. Another iconic company has succumbed to the current economic state. Today Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the maker of classic china and crystal, filed for bankruptcy protection after attempts to restructure the struggling business or find a buyer.

Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton are quintessentially classic brands that are steeped in a rich history. Wedgwood has been an a beloved name in British pottery for 250 years, and Waterford Crystal traces its lineage to a factory opened in Waterford, southeast Ireland in 1783.

Waterford Wedgwood chief executive officer David Sculley said he was "disappointed" about the bankruptcy filing, but remained confident that a buyer for the company could be found.

Tonight while making dinner I was listening to a commentator on BBC Scotland speculate as to why the group’s U.K. and Irish subsidiaries have had to go into administration and receivership. Some of the blame and speculation was the economy, people scaling back on luxury goods and younger generations not taking an interest in their “grandmother’s” china. I really hope the last of these is not true and a buyer can be found.

It’s my understanding, according to The New York Times, that the remaining subsidiaries, including those in the United States, Germany and Canada, remain unaffected.


Karena said...

Ronda, yes a sad state indeed when such an icon falls!

Suzy said...

Oh no, that is sad!

The Blushing Hostess said...

I am CRUSHED over this development. And not just because Royal Doulton will go too. I held out hopes they would bring back my stemware pattern - curiously, discontinued one year after my wedding. It seems to be the favorite breakage item of any of our drunken houseguests! Beside myself, The Hostess

Queen of Cashmere said...

I just spoke with our monogram china supplier about this yesterday. Take heart. His feeling was that the company would be more desirable to a wider range of investors takeover and resurrection if they declared bankruptcy first. I don't think that this will be the last we hear from these iconic these brands.

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you Caron. This is great news to hear! Fingers crossed!

paperjunk-lc said...

I was just having a conversation over the holidays with a friend about new brides and wheather or not they choose to register for fine china. I'm amazed how few of my friends use there fine china. I remember being so proud of my Wedgewood china when I was first married 23 years ago. I try to use it about 3-4 times a year. I want my daughters to appreciate a pretty table. Hopefully they will be bought and continue on. Thanks for the update.

Meander said...

oh my goodness I had no idea (I must start listening to the BBC news again)! So sad indeed! But that last part about younger generations I really don't think is true. I'm 26 and I adore the classic designs as well as the new ones like the Jasper Conran (I think) pattern you have shown above. I believe it has more to do with the younger generations not having the funds to justify purchasing fine china. So sad though, a buyer truly must be out there somewhere.
As a lover of Wedgewood - if you get the time and you're in London you should really check out their China room at the British Museum: pieces of nearly every pattern for what seems like acres, not to be missed.
Thanks for passing on the news.