I just learned today that Waterford Crystal, who also acquired Wedgwood in 1986, is declaring bankruptcy in Britain. They join the growing list of British companies, known for their higher end products, that are filing for bankruptcy as the world economy falters.
I wonder though if the financial crises was just the final piece to push the company over. For the last two decades, society is moving away from bridal gifts of china and crystal. New generations no longer need a 12 piece place setting of fine china. I know when I was married seven years ago, I fell in love with a beautiful baby blue and gold trimmed china set that I thought I had to have because all the bridal books said it was necessary. After much thought, and the price it would cost to purchase a large set, I decided against adding it to my registry. Now, seven years later, I would have to admit that I have never had a dinner party at my home where I could have used the set. My friends don’t have the parties either. (Probably the happiest person is my husband who hasn’t had to cart the things around the country the last two moves.)
Oh, and I almost forgot…the piece of crystal given to me at my wedding is sitting in a closet somewhere, as it has no place to be displayed, or risk ruin by the kids. Now, there are plenty of wealthy out there that still purchase these products, but for the world as a whole, the quantities of these items bought in stores continues to decline. Most likely, the only choices the company has to survive are to find a buyer fairly quickly, go out of business, or develop a new product for buyers, changing the brand of the company for ever.