Deathwatch - Wedgewood ready to call in the administrators

5 January 2009

Your grandmother and her friends may adore crappy porcelain figures of girls in bright blue bonnets walking a labrador, but they'll all be dead soon, and it's not the sort of stuff you're keen to see grace your IKEA coffee table.

And so the bony digits of Deathwatch finger the china and ceramics firm Wedgewood who, according to the BBC, are expecting to call in the administrators today. The company, which has just entered is 250th year, has also requested that shares be suspended from trading on the Irish Stock Exchange. Nearly 3,000 staff are employed across the UK and Ireland, with another 5,000 working for Wedgewood around the world.

Sir Anthony O'Reilly, non-executive Chairman said: "We are consoled only by the fact that everything that could have been done, by management and by the board, to preserve the group, was done."

While the company remains hopeful of finding a buyer, its collapse could be the harbinger of doom for chains such as Collectables; everyone can manage without expensive gifts and trinkets during a recession, and crystal vases may take a long time to come back into fashion.

TOPICS:   High Street News   Economy


  • Martin
    Some of their dinner services are nice, but their prices aren't. £25 for a plate. No thanks.
  • Bob
    I have no problem with £25 a plate, if the plate is nice, the thing is that Wedgewood having been trotting out the same tired crap since the 50's, I'd love to be able to buy a nice expensive dinner service, the problem is that I can't find anything I like, last time I found cutlery I liked it was in NZ and $400 for 16 pieces.
  • Halflife
    This may actually be good news for those people who already own Wedgewood, if, when we come out of the other side of the recession, anyone with some kind of Wedgewood collection may find their crappy assets appreciating. Even though I don’t like the stuff I cannot help but feel a little sad that a company with 250 years of heritage is going down the plug hole. With that in mind I have decided to save the industry. my daughter got a 'throw a pot' set for Christmas. At the time I thought it was quite possibly the crappiest present ever (thinking of it from a bar humbug parent perspective of course due to the inevitable mess in the kitchen). I now see a cottage (garage) industry set to flourish. Where Wedgewood failed, 'Doorwege' fine English pottery with succeed. Where Wedgewood went wrong was the expensive clay materials and fine glazes and lacquers used to adorn the pottery with colour. The key to success will be recycling. Instead of using expensive clay to make the pots I plan on using garden mud and instead of using fancy glazes to adorn the plates with colour I will use the ink from Biros therefore cleverly capturing the market potential for all things green at the moment. Some people may be concerned that these items will not be suitable for eating food from. True but how many people eat from their Wedgewood?? Halflife
  • MB
    > anyone with some kind of Wedgewood collection may find their crappy assets appreciating. They were crappy assets before and will be crappy assets afterwards. Although to be fair, quite a few people collect (older) wedgewood pieces - at least that is the impression I get from auctions. I wonder if today's generation will turn into collectors, or if the value of some people's collections will drop by the time they die. I guess the same can be said for any collectable - be it football memorabilia or star wars toys. How long will they remain in fashion as a collectable as the generations change. If wedgewood collapses and this in turn hits modern collectables stores, at least this frees up stores for something more useful - like another mobile phone branch.
  • jobby
    Halflife i am sorry m8ty but that production method has already been adopted in indonesia
  • Darren
    When will people realise that this is nothing to do with the credit crunch!! Consumers are changing, consumers are demanding the new, not the old... Makes me laugh that a 250 year old company cant survive a credit crunch that has been happening for 12 months MAXIMUM. surely they had some pennies in there 250 year old bank account!!!

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