Out with the old, as time is called on luxury crystal and ceramics firm Waterford Wedgwood.
In what represents the latest iconic British brand to fall foul of the credit crunch, it has today been announced that premium dinnerware firm Waterford Wedgwood have gone into administration.
Long established as a household name the firm has a history dating back almost a quarter of a millennium.
The UK-based Wedgwood ceramics was originally founded in 1750, while luxury Irish crystal firm Waterford has been trading for 226 years. The two companies merged in 1987and famously acquired high-end pottery firm Royal Doulton in 2005.
However, despite the company’s rich heritage, today’s unfortunate news hasn’t come as a surprise to many.
The company were already known to have debts amounting to over £420million and ceased trading on the London Stock Exchange in December in a bid to reduce costs. Despite their difficulties they remained listed on the Irish stock exchange until earlier this morning when trading of company shares was finally suspended.
Appointed as administrator, accountancy firm Deloitte is currently looking at opportunities to sell the business off. However, as previous attempts to find a buyer for the company as a whole have failed it is largely expected that, if it survives, Waterford Wedgwood will once again be split back into its original lines for re-development.
Although not a large company by many measures, the luxury dinnerware firm did have a global presence, employing 8,500 workers across the globe – 1,900 of which were based in the UK.
Many have blamed the firm’s outsourcing of work across the globe and failure to keep up with the times as contributing factors in its downfall. However, in all likelihood Waterford Wedgwood are simply yet another of the unlucky ones driven to the ground by the tightening economic conditions that are making it harder for even premium retailers to both find finance and attract custom.