Whittard of Chelsea

Whittard of Chelsea

6th November 2014

Whittard brews up rising profits, reporting 42pc jump in profits as revamps its stores into ‘apothecaries’.

Whittard of Chelsea posted annual profits of £2m, up from £1.4m, as it continues to bounce back from going into administration six years ago. The tea, coffee and hot chocolate specialist, which has sought to reinvent itself as a premium hot drinks brand, also saw a 30pc growth in its international sales for the year to the end of December 2013.

Founded in 1886 by Walter Whittard, the tea shop was sold to a private equity firm after going into administration in 2008. Following its takeover, the retailer’s UK stores fell from 130 to 5 and it has concentrated its efforts on growing its international market with retail operations in 35 countries including the US and local language websites in Japan, Germany, France and Italy.

The company’s new found financial success has been built on its appeal as a unique heritage brand, said Mark Dunhill, managing director of Whittard. He added that Whittard have been experimenting with a new store format which will provide the experience of an “apothecary rather than an impersonal supermarket”.

The tea shop recently opened a store in Canary Wharf and has a new, centrally located Oxford Street site, which allows customers to taste, experiment and blend their own teas. Whittard’s websites will also allow customers to order bespoke tea blends online. “We’re interested in attracting new customers who are novices but want to learn about exotic and rare teas and can trust us on that journey”, says Mr Dunhill.

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