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E.H.Booth & Co Ltd
Type Private limited company
IndustryHigh-end Supermarket
Founded1847 [1]
1896 (incorporated)
FounderEdwin Henry Booth
Headquarters Ribbleton, Preston, Lancashire,
England, UK
Number of locations
Decrease2.svg 27 retail stores in Northern England
Area served
Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire
Key people
Edwin J. Booth (Executive Chairman)
Nigel Murray (Managing Director)
Ross Faith (Finance Director)
Rebecca Hardman (Head of HR)
John Gill (Head of Commercial Operations & Marketing) [2]
ProductsFood, beverage & tobacco retailing
RevenueDecrease2.svg £280.75m (2015) [2]
Decrease2.svg £3.58m (2015) [2]
Decrease2.svg Loss -£6.3m (2016) [2]
OwnerBooth Family and staff
Number of employees
2,870 [2]

Booths is a chain of high-end supermarkets in Northern England. Most of its branches are in Lancashire, but there are also branches in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It has been described as the "Waitrose of the North" by sources such as The Daily Telegraph . [3] Booths has competed on quality as opposed to just price and has been developed on the motto "to sell the best quality goods in shops staffed by first class assistants".



Booths Central Office, Ribbleton, Preston Booths Central Office - - 1369512.jpg
Booths Central Office, Ribbleton, Preston

E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd was founded in June 1847 when 19-year-old tea dealer Edwin Henry Booth opened a shop called the China House in Blackpool. [4] In 1863, he added the sale of wines and spirits, and branches were opened in Lytham in 1879 and Blackburn in 1884. The business was incorporated as a private limited company in 1896. [1]

Edwin's son John opened cafes in the stores in 1902 and invited all staff to become shareholders in 1920. [5] It has remained owned by the Booth family and staff ever since, comprising over 250 shareholders in 2011 and with no individual having more than 12% of the total shares. [6] The current chairman, Edwin J. Booth, is the fifth generation.

In a feature article in The Guardian in 2008, David Webster, the former chairman and co-founder of Britain's Safeway chain (which had sold out to Morrisons in 2004), said that he had tried to buy out Booths several times over the years, as did several of his rivals: "One thought Booths would have disappeared ages ago but it jolly well hasn't. It is obviously doing an outstanding job for its customers." [7]

In 2008, Booths were under pressure by Waitrose with rumours of a takeover, [8] which was later ruled out. Booths and Waitrose then formed a buying group together. [9]


In June 2005, the current Chairman, Edwin J Booth, was awarded the BITC (Business in the Community) Prince of Wales Ambassador Award for North West England. [10] This is given to individuals whose leadership and commitment to responsible business practice and the actions they have taken personally have created a positive impact both inside their company and on the wider society. He was also finalist for the Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year (North). [10]

In 2006, Booths achieved second place in the list of the World's Greatest Food Retailers. [11] The panel of top designers, architects, analysts, journalists, suppliers and retailers was brought together by national trade publication, The Grocer , and asked to rank their favourite food retailers from anywhere in the world. They were impressed by the quality of the company's offer, its focus on local sourcing and head for innovation. Simon Bell, retail director of foodservice firm Leathams, voted Booths' Chorley store first above Selfridges in London. He applauds its excellent customer service, knowledge of products and friendly staff. [12]

A new head office was opened in early 2006 in Ribbleton, Preston and includes environmentally friendly features, such as using rainwater to flush the toilets. In 2011 Booths opened two new stores in MediaCityUK [13] and Penrith, Cumbria. [14] A new Booths store in Milnthorpe opened on 14 November 2012 and one in Barrowford opened on 4 December 2014. A branch opened in July 2015 in Burscough, followed by a store in St Annes in September and had renovated their store in Poulton-le-Fylde.

Booths commissioned Small World Consulting to research its carbon footprint and the resulting report was published in 2012. [15]

In 2015, Booths was named Independent Retail Chain of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards. In February 2017 the chain launched a luxury hampers and gift website. [16] As of 11 October 2017 AmazonFresh sell a range of Booths branded products for home delivery in selected areas. [17]

In November 2017, it was reported that the supermarket had been put up for sale for between £130m and £150m, [18] but this was later dismissed as "speculation" by the firm. [19]

In the 2019 Birthday Honours, Booths' executive chairman Edwin J. Booth was appointed CBE "for services to business and to charity". [20]

In 2021, it was confirmed that the MediaCityUK branch was to close within months due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After 10 years, it closed for trade in February 2021, bringing the total number of Booths stores to 27.

The same year, the store introduced ice cream for dogs as part of its range of frozen desserts. [21]

Store list



  1. Barrowford
  2. Burscough
  3. Carnforth
  4. Chorley
  5. Clitheroe
  6. Fulwood, Preston
  7. Garstang
  8. Hesketh Bank
  9. Longridge
  10. Longton, Preston
  11. Lytham
  12. Penwortham
  13. Poulton-le-Fylde
  14. Scotforth, Lancaster
  15. St Annes (town centre shop closed but new, larger store opened)


Booths in Windermere Booths at Windermere Railway Station - - 459996.jpg
Booths in Windermere


Booths in Ilkley Booths Supermarket, Ilkley (geograph 2088948).jpg
Booths in Ilkley
Booths in Ripon Booths, Marshall Way, Ripon (24th October 2020).jpg
Booths in Ripon
  1. Ilkley
  2. Ripon
  3. Settle


  1. Knutsford

Greater Manchester

  1. Hale Barns

Fair Milk

In May 2014, the store rebranded its own-label milk as 'Fair Milk', increasing its farmgate milk price to a yearly average of 34.4 pence per litre, and thus paying farmers more for their milk than any other UK supermarket. [23] Booths became a finalist in the BITC awards for this campaign in early 2015, presented by Alan Kirby, Jane Green and 'Fair Milk' producer, Claire Barber.[ citation needed ]

Cafe 1847

The Artisan speciality food shop and restaurant is a recent development by Booths. The first one was located at the Kendal store; its range is mainly local produce from small producers. [24]

See also

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Kirkham, Lancashire Human settlement in England

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Lytham St Annes Human settlement in England

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The Preston and Wyre Railway was promoted to open up agricultural land in the Fylde in Lancashire, access a new port at what became Fleetwood and the Lancaster Canal at Preston: it opened in 1840. An associated company built the dock leading to the company changing its name to the Preston and Wyre Railway, Harbour and Dock Company. Passenger business was more buoyant than expected, and the company built branch lines to the nascent resort of Blackpool and Lytham that opened in 1846. At that time the line was leased by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and later the London and North Western Railway took a share in the lease which was later converted to outright ownership. The Preston and Wyre Railway continued to be jointly owned as the Preston and Wyre Joint Railway.

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd., Directors' Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 28 March 2015, approved 31 July 2015
  3. Ruddick, Graham (5 February 2015). "'Waitrose of the North' names new chief executive". The Daily Telegraph .
  4. "About Us". Booths. 18 January 2021.
  5. "About us". Booths. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  6. E.H. Booth & Co. Ltd. AR01 Annual Return. Companies House. 3 October 2011.
  7. Butler, Sarah (6 July 2008). "Sarah Butler on Booths, the thinking person's retailer". The Guardian . ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  8. Smith, Chloe (27 September 2008). "Waitrose, Booths Alliance 'is not prelude to merger'". The Grocer . William Reed Business Media. ISSN   0017-4351.
  9. MacDonald, George (22 September 2008). "Waitrose and Booths create buying alliance" . Retail Week . Ascential Information Services. ISSN   1360-8215.
  10. 1 2 "Lancashire Enterprise Partnership - Edwin Booth, Chairman". Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  11. IGD Retail Analysis – Booths News – Booths Christmas results: another success for the top-end
  12. Booths Supermarkets – News Archived 30 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Dee-light as Booths promote to board". 24 February 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  14. "Cumbrian town centre". news & star. 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  15. "The greenhouse gas footprint of Booths" (PDF). Small World Consulting. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  16. "Gifts by Booths". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  17. Armstrong, Ashley (11 October 2017). "Booths teams up with Amazon to sell down South for the first time". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  18. Partington, Richard (26 November 2017). "Grocer Booths up for sale for between £130m-£150m, says report". The Guardian . Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  19. Bent, Lloyd (4 December 2017). "Reports of potential Booths sale dismissed as speculation". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  20. "No. 62507". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2018. p. N8.
  21. "Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts Range Review | Booths Supermarket".
  22. "Booths Supermarket Finder | Booths Store Locator & Opening Times".
  23. "Booths names own-label milk 'Fair Milk' and raises farmgate price". The Grocer . Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  24. Beckett, Simon (14 November 2004). "FOOD & DRINK: Local heroes". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 11 June 2008.[ dead link ]