Here's a couple relevant links:
Thread: Crabtree & Evelyn Chapter 11
Just read that Crabtree & Evelyn has filed for Chapter 11 on its U.S. operations. Can't say I am terribly surprised. Popular shaving supplies discontinued, product not available on the net, outlets suddenly disappearing. Now where will I get lavender water like theirs?!? John
Here's a couple relevant links:
oh no. too bad C&E weren't able to modernize their sales approach. quality products, thoughtfully packaged, but backwards marketing. sad when this happens
I've personally had nothing but poor experiences with their SA's. After three chances, at three different locations, i'm not going back.
I used to love C&E stores-- they were small and cozy and the shelves were piled high with a wide variety of fragranced products-- including affordable sample sizes so you could try before buying.
Then they eliminated the sample sizes, spread out fewer products in larger stores and discontinued some favorites while reformulating others to their detriment. Now there is not a single C&E product I buy. (Fortunately I bought extras of my favorites before they reformulated.)
I can't say I'm surprised at what has happened.
Crabtree & Evelyn is a U.S. tolietries company founded in Massachusetts in the mid 1970's with the idea that a British image applied to very colorful and high quality tolietries will be a unique selling proposition in American malls. The idea worked great during the 1970's and 80's when the company expanded like crazy. But while they expanded into more locations, the competition got much better in the 1990's and by the 2000's the company was in trouble. Specialty shops of all types have taken a hit since 2001 and also mall marketing has fallen on harder times too. With good competition arriving after 2000 that included The Body Shop, Origins, Clinique, Sephora, Kiehl's, Yankee Candle, Luckyscent, etc. all providing more interesting products and better marketing approaches, Crabtree & Evellyn began to flounder. They have been hanging on by fingertips for several years. I'm not surprised they have decided to reorganize under Chapter 11 and I have real doubts that they will ever succeed again unless they radically change their business strategy.
Really, what could they do to revive their business? I can't think of a thing. Possibly try to merge with another company that needs lots retail presence in U.S. malls and has lots of money . . . possibly. L' Occitane? The Art of Shaving (P&G), Penhaligon's, Creed?
I always liked the original Vetiver that they used to sell back in the 1980's but I think they dropped it a few years back. It had a nice raw sort of Givenchy Vetyver smell - Oh well.
Last edited by Buzzlepuff; 2nd July 2009 at 06:04 PM.
Wow, I didn't know C & E was a US store. I always thought it was completely british. I love their triple milled Jojoba soap and Lavender water and soap. What a shame.
Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 2nd July 2009 at 04:29 AM.
Bummer. I just got one of E&Cs catalogs in the mail this week. As for the Body Shop, last month they were having a really huge sales on everything. I guess this is why. Is it just me or did everything in The Body Shop smell too ... what's the word ... synthetic? Or maybe it was a base they used that permeated every fragrance.
I adored C&E back in the 80's. That and my Laura Ashley dresses and skirts, and the sheets. I was like a walking cabbage rose. I liked the quality of their soaps and toiletries. Their jojoba seashell soap was superb. And they had vetiver and sandalwood soaps, rose glycerin, goat's milk soap, all these nice florals and edts. I used to buy their vanilla lotion and soaps for my mother because she always loved the smell of vanilla - and it was a nice quality vanilla, too, not as sickly as the ubiquitous vanilla of today. At least the place didn't smell like a Yankee candle shop. And they sold things like scented drawer liner paper, soap dishes, teas, culinary rose and orange flower waters, all kinds of interesting things. But I do remember when Body Shop moved in and became the next big thing. They've changed, too. You used to bring your used bottles back to Body Shop for recycling.
Last edited by lilybelle; 2nd July 2009 at 09:49 PM.
I mentioned in one of my posts recently that the Nomad soaps were incredible. Not a great deal at $24.99 for 3, but I picked up a bunch of boxes on clearance for $9.99. Each bar will last about a month, and it's a very invigorating scent and the soap has such a luxurious lather.
Sienna is also nice, but Nomad - even though it's nothing too exciting - is a staple. Shame they're filing for bankruptcy.
My problem remains!! What lavender water would be an equivalent? C&E's seemed "floral" to me, whereas others are more herbal - TOBS as case in point. I really like the floral aspect. Any suggestions please? Thanks, John
Lilybelle, i too was a walking cabbage rose in the 80s- i dressed my daughters in matching Laura Ashley dresses! i loved the C&E soaps & i adore the drawer liners.
ita with 30Roses statement about how they took a wrong turn. those little bottles were the best. perfect for travel.
what's funny is i'm noticing a return to that floral quasi-Victorian style among the kids (ie my 21 year old daughter and her friends) and in the boutiques they shop in, the mags they read- its kind of a retro kitschy thing. my daughter has overstuffed furniture, cabbage rose & toile de jouy fabrics everywhere.
Don't know about the lavender water, but I'm disappointed. I just discovered C & E's India Hicks Spider Lily line. Bought a travel trio of it just last week on a rare (for me) shopping trip. It was DEEPLY discounted, and now I know why.
My husband and I used to love their rosemary-scented Hungary Water. Made a great aftershave for him!
I have a soft spot for C&E - I first came across the brand when I arrived in HK in 1982 (or shortly thereafter) and wore their Mysore Sandalwood EDT for as long as it lasted - about 10 years I guess - before qulaity dropped off (still have some). There are still a few smaller busy outlets here in the right locations, Caswell & Massey have all but diappeared, Body Shop everywhere, but it is L'Occitane who seem to be really pulling in the customers and delivering the goods as well - very popular with HK women and the guys also going for some lines. Good luck to them.
Last edited by mr. reasonable; 3rd July 2009 at 04:58 PM.
This article spurred me to visit Crabtree & Evelyn at the mall today. Everything in the store was either 30% or 50% off (including all of the men's products). Good time to stock up!
I love their lavender water and so does my son - he sprays himself with it before school sometimes - I find it refreshing and calming . I was not so taken with their India Hicks line and I prefer their soliflores. Their aromatherpay line is also good.
I went into the C & E at Walnut Creek CA and everything is on sale for about 75 % and things were going for 5 dollars. it looked like they were clearing out the shop.
UPDATE -- the Chapter 11 proceedings apply to US stores only. Canadian stores are a separate division, and reportedly are doing quite well. Of course, this is due to the excellent taste of Canadian consumers
So for our American friends who are going to be jonesing for C&E, plan a trip north and stock up.
"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas
Funny, I always thought they were British... guess that part of their marketing dept. did its job very well! Anyway, can't say I'm really sad to see them go: I once bought a jar of Sienna shaving cream which was nice but roughly double the price of a jar of Taylor of Old Bond St. cream and the latter (pun intended ) is much better.
Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
Indult Tihota & RÍve en Cuir
Chant d'Aromes extrait
Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)
Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
"The Sunshine bores the daylights outta me!"
They even had a lovely store on Kensington Church Street in London for many years and I was always sure C and E were british - I have been fooled ! : )
I love crabtree and up till now I cannot find the lavender linen wash. I regret not buying bottles of it when the scent was so dreamy and calming. They also have high quality candles, I still have 1 - 2 lavender water candles lying around but I'll be too sad to finish them The drawer liners last a long while too.
When i was in the US recently and visited the outlets, i thought it would be so amazing to be able to buy those big bottles of body washes etc at such cheap prices.
Missed this news, being out of the country all summer.
Hmm...no wonder it was such a pain in the ass to track down some of their Sandalwood shaving soap earlier this year. Ended up having to settle for a puck of the Nomad, which smells too soapy but lathers slick and makes a pretty formidable superlather with C.O. Bigelow eucalyptus shaving cream.
Will have to head down to my local and see if there is anything left...
I will give them a call to see what's up and hopefully be heading there this afternoon to see what's left.
Oh, no. I am sorry to hear that....
.... update: just checked their website, it's still up and running and Lavender is available there. Are you sure all of their stores will be closing here in US?
Last edited by beachroses; 11th September 2009 at 05:31 PM.