Royal porcelain firm on the rocks

Posted on 7 Nov 2008 by The Manufacturer

Iconic British porcelain-maker Royal Worcester went into administration yesterday after failing to find a buyer for its site in Stoke.

The firm has been in business for over 250 years, having started in Worcester in 1751. At the end of the 18th century it received the Royal Warrant – a commission to supply goods to the Royal family or its estates.

The 388 staff that remain at the firm – they once numbered close to a thousand –are now waiting to hear whether their jobs can be saved through a sale.
Matthew Hammond, administrator at PricewaterhouseCoopers which is acting for the firm, said: “Management have been trying to restructure the business and over the last six to twelve months they have suffered a decline in sales not unlike other operators exposed to the retail and consumer sectors.

“The business has a great heritage, a great product range, a Royal Warrant, and while we cannot guarantee a sale we will do all we can.”

The firm also owns fellow historic porcelain manufacturer Spode which went into administration alongside it.

No official word from Royal Worcester has been released but a banner advert on its website pointing to a ‘Massive Stock Clearance’ looks ominous.