Uncertainty surrounds the future of The Tabletop Group and its three company brands this week.
Rayware is understood to have bought The Tabletop Company and Mason Cash, and according to unconfirmed reports TG Green is also up for sale. Rayware declined to comment, and only an answerphone service is available at The Tabletop Group.
TTG was showing its products as recently as last month, at London’s Exclusively Housewares exhibition. The Tabletop Company supplies dinnerware, teaware, mugs and gift sets; Mason Cash offers pet bowls and kitchenware, including the familiar traditional mixing bowls; and TG Green supplies Cornishware.
Essex independent retailer Billiericay Cookshop stocks a diverse range of TTG products, including whiteware, Mason Cash mixing bowls and Cornish Blue. Director Trevor Draper told housewareslive.net: “From what we understand, supply is going to continue as normal [for The Tabletop Company and Mason Cash products] but it’s going to be under Rayware. If we want to put an order in for any TG Green we don’t know whether we can still put orders through.”
He said that the news was “a little bit disconcerting for retailers, coming hot on the heels of Typhoon. What else is going on out there?”
TTG operates through The Tienshan Trading Co Ltd. Tienshan’s latest accounts, to June 30 2006 show turnover down 17.6% to £8.3m, and a pre-tax loss of £243,000, down 233% over the previous period.
TTG chief executive David French has just taken on a third term as president of the British Home Enhancement Trade Association, formerly the British Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers’ Association.