The parent company and several of its trading subsidiaries have appointed Deloitte as administrator. It has 19 shops and around 120 concessions in the UK.
The management of the company, which manufactures, wholesales and retails Waterford crystal, Wedgwood fine china and Royal Doulton, had been trying to restructure the business in recent years. However, as trading conditions deteriorated, a restructure could not be achieved in an acceptable timescale. The management were also unable to find a buyer for the business.
Deloitte joint administrator Angus Martin said: “We will be continuing to trade the business whilst seeking a sale as a going concern. We will work closely with David Sculley, chief executive, and Anthony Jones, chief financial officer, who have both played active roles in the restructuring efforts and the numerous conversations with potential investors.
"Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton are quintessentially classic brands that represent a high quality product which is steeped in history."
He added: “The administration team will be working closely with management, customers and suppliers during this time to ensure operations continue whilst a sale of the business is sought.”
The UK has around 1,900 staff and a further 5,800 are employed across the US, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Asia.