Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WATERFORD WEDGWOOD ASSETS SOLD

Most Waterford Wedgwood assets have been bought out of receivership by KPS Capital Partners of New York. They are not buying the Irish production facilities, so jobs will be lost. Some manufacturing will be transferred to Indonesia, Germany, and Slovakia. But this does mean production of the famous brands will continue. And higher-end Wedgwood products will still be made in England.




14 comments:

Denyse said...

How is it good that Irish Crystal will now be made in Germany? If the new owner were serious about keeping the standards of Irish crystal they would continue to have it made in Ireland. This is just another product that will end being made shabby to save costs.
It is a sad day. I recommend Heritage Crystal....made in Ireland by former Waterford experts, it is beautiful!!!

Barbara said...

How will this affect the value of pre and post Waterford? Does my Waterford I bought at the factory become more or less valuable?

bmerey said...

As far as I am concerned, the era of Waterford Crystal is past.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean our pieces that were made in Ireland will be more valuble? I have a paperweight US flag complete with box. It has never been displayed and must be 15 years old. Can anyone give me advice?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the standards will be lowered while the price will probably stay the same! I would prefer that the new crystal and china made outside of the British Isles be manufactured under different names so as not to tarnish the reputations of Spode, Wedgwood, Waterford etc. It took these companies centuries to earn their respect and reputations; let's not wipe it out in a single stroke!
karen

Anonymous said...

I have found that on the secondary market no one will touch Waterford made outside of Ireland.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion it is not Waterford Crystal if it is not made in Ireland. A big part of what made it valuable and collectible was its historic ties to Ireland. By shipping the production overseas the brand is devalued.

Kevboy said...

I agree with Denyse. Waterford will not be Waterford, any more. I suppose all things come to an end, eventually, but it is sad. I, for one, will now concentrate on collecting as much Waterford as I can afford off of alternative sites like eBay, my local antique shops, etc. Then, it'll be done, for me. I will check out Heritage, however...
Thanks!

Sarah said...

This is sad news. No one can seriously believe Waterford produced in Germany, Indonesia, or Slovakia will possibly measure up to the crystal produced in Ireland.

Anonymous said...

Denyse - I agree.
Waterford, Wedgewood, Royal Doulton - epitomize the whoring of a name - as what happened to Lenox - did they not get what happened at Waterford? I used to be in the business and their downfall came when they introduced the Marquis line - it is made all over! These BIG investment firms just DO NOT GET IT.....

Anonymous said...

Firstly, the company that now owns Waterford Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Johnson Brothers, and Franciscan is WWRD Holding Co., a new entity formed by KPS to take over all their assets and none of their liabilites. As a result, our Royal Doulton store was unceremoniously and abruptly emptied out last Thursday night and closed the following morning, despite the 3 remaining years left on our lease. All the employees of that store, and all but two of the remaining US stores, along with 15 of the Wedgwood stores, some of whom had worked for their respective companies for more than 16 years, were let go.

As for quality of merchandise manufactured offshore, I can personally attest to the very poor imitation of the originals, especially in the Franciscan "Desert Rose" pattern and the Johnson Brothers "Old British Castles". I own several old pieces in each, and the comparison is truly pitiful. Many of our long-time customers also owned the famous "Old Country Roses" pattern made in England. They have complained vociferously about the ingerior quality of the newer product, made in Indonesia.
It's over.

oldcar said...

I am so sad that this old company has come to an end. There is NO way that I will buy Waterford not made in Ireland by the glass makers who have lost their jobs!!! Will the Waterford mark on the glass say the country of origin? I will be checking out the Heritage Crystal.

Anonymous said...

anne

I'm not happy either the Waterford won't be made in Waterford. I won't buy new crystal. Maybe I can get more in the secondary market. About 30 years ago I was taken over to Ireland by my father and we bought a lot of the Sheila pattern. Perhaps in use by my parents or due to moving over the course of my life, many pieces are chipped. I took a few glasses to a place in the greater Boston area which sands down the edges. What a crappy job! The height of the clear edge was diminished severely and they don't look right in my opinion. So beware of companies who claim they can sand the edge.

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of Waterford-Wedgwood I think it is safe for me to say the downfall of Waterford started years ago.
First, the workers were told to cut shallow (late 1990s).
Second, the use of machines (yes MACHINES) were used in the partial cutting of certain patterns- details would be finished by hand. Palm Tree was an exclusive pattern which was the first 100% machine cut pattern, next was Overture.
Also during this time we were using the craftsman of Nachtmann Crystal, Harrachov Novsad, and Rogaska to produce many of our "cut to clear" wares. We were informed that this was only being done as the "Irish Workmen were not as skilled in the art of cut to clear" as the euro glassworkers. The fact that the markup price was near 72% was merely a "bonus."
Then the day came when we began receiving clear crystal wares made in Portugal (by Atlantis Crystal), Slovenia (Rogaska), Germany, and Poland.
About two years ago over half of our WATERFORD (not Marquis) was made outside of Ireland- hence the company's decision to switch the Seahorse stickers from identifying whre the object was made to the new blank ones.
Sadly, even the master cutter's were not safe from the drop in quality- we had so many of them come out of the box with obvious flaws (crooked base, uneven edge, open "seeds" in the wall). Very upsetting, but with the downfall of Spode, Worcester, and Stuart Crystal, it seems like this is a worldwide trend of loss to artistic quality craftsmanship.