Crabtree & Evelyn

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Crabtree & Evelyn in Guildford High Street
Crabtree & Evelyn, Stratford on Avon
Crabtree & Evelyn, Hong Kong

Crabtree & Evelyn is an American-international retailer of body, fragrance and home care products with stores globally. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1955, the brand was acquired in October 2016, by Nan Hai Corporation of Hong Kong.


The company was founded in 1968 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Janus Films businessman Cyrus Harvey and designer Peter Windett, it opened in a small Cambridge shop under the name The Soap Box.

In 1971, the name changed to Crabtree and Evelyn. In 1977, the company opened a stall in the new Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, and its first stand alone shop was opened by Stephen Miller in the Montgomery Mall outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] Harvey invented the products while Windett did the design for them. American tourists looked for the store in England prompting the founders to open their first store on Kensington Church Street in 1980.

The company's name, conceived by Harvey and Windett was inspired by the 17th-century renaissance Englishman John Evelyn, who wrote one of the first important works on conservation, he is also known for his writings on food, including a book on salads, in which he introduced the first salad dressing made with olive oil to Europe. The Crabtree or Wild Apple symbol is native to Britain and the ancestor of all cultivated apple trees[2] It was highly prized for its beauty, as well as its usefulness in home apothecary.


In 1996, Cyrus Harvey decided to sell the company, and it was sold to Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad and operated by a subsidiary as CE Holdings. While funded and managed by the holding company in Kuala Lumpur, day-to-day operations—such as research and development, manufacturing, and design—continue to be based in the UK and US.

In July 2009, Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Following the filing, 30 of its 126 American based stores closed. Stores in the UK were not affected by the filing.[3][4]

CE Holdings was sold to the Hong Kong-based investment-holding company Khuan Choo International Limited, as of July 2012, for US$155,000,000.[5][6]

The brand was acquired in October 2016, by Nan Hai Corporation of Hong Kong.

Multiple stores within the United Kingdom have closed as of 2018, including Portsmouth, Dalton Park at Murton Seaham, and the Glasgow flagship store in Princes Square shopping centre, after struggling to make profit and rising business rental costs. All UK stores are set to close by the end of 2019, with exception of a new flagship concept store in Islington, London.

In mid November 2018, it was announced that manufacturing operation in Woodstock CT, were to cease in the New Year of 2019. Late November 2018, it was announced all Retail and Wholesale operations were to cease to exist worldwide, with the Canada business filing for bankruptcy.


  1. ^ "Crabtree and Evelyn - British Royalty".
  2. ^ "A Modern Herbal - Apple".
  3. ^ "UPDATE 1-Crabtree & Evelyn files reorganization plan". 23 October 2016 – via Reuters.
  4. ^ "Crabtree & Evelyn to restructure following bankruptcy".
  5. ^
  6. ^ /"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-08-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Crabtree & Evelyn at Wikimedia Commons